Yesterday two leaders in the US Senate sent strong signals that a renewed attempt by big oil to revive Keystone XL will be headed for defeat. The oil industry’s top supporters in the House of Representatives attached an amendment to the ‘must-pass’ Transportation Bill, but both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who will be heading up final negotiations over the bill, indicated that the pipeline is a non-starter. 

Here is the statement from Senator Reid, quoted in The Hill: 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would not in any way help Republicans move Keystone approval across the finish line. 

“Personally, I’m not — I’m not one of the conferees — but personally I think Keystone is a program that we’re not going, that I am not going to help in any way I can,” Reid told reporters. “The president feels that way. I do, too.”

And here is the statement from Senator Boxer, from Congressional Quarterly: 

Boxer said she was determined to delete “extraneous measures” signalling that she will work to strip the House Keystone language from the bill meant to renew expiring surface transportation programs. Referring to the [Keystone XL] pipeline, Boxer said the Senate “has already said no to that” and called on negotiators to look for areas of consensus. “We would like to keep off anything controversial that has nothing to do with this bill,” she said, referring to the pipeline.

The stance of Senate leadership demonstrates the enduring power of the grassroots organizing against Keystone XL, which included arrests at, then surrounding the White House, and over 800,000 messages sent to Congress in 24 hours. 

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