Update: 5/13: the bill died! Sadly, it turns out that Scott Brown urged fellow Republicans to stop the bill to prevent Senator Jeanne Shaheen (the bill’s sponsor) from getting a win. Brown is trying to unseat her from the US Senate in the November election.
True to form, the bill is held up – and will likely die- because Republicans won’t vote on it without their killer amendments. They won’t agree to a separate vote on Keystone – it must be attached as an amendment, they say.
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on the bipartisan energy efficiency bill, Shaheen-Portman.
But it could be vetoed by President Obama because of the poison amendments attached: binding approval of the Keystone pipeline; block EPA regulations on power plant greenhouse gas emissions; expedite natural gas exports; and of course, repeal the Affordable Care Act!
Keystone may end up getting a separate vote, and the American Petroleum Institute is "pulling out all the stops" to get vacillating Democrats to vote Yes. It would be a binding vote that takes the decision out of the President’s hands. TV and radio ads are running in Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, New Mexico and South Dakota.
So far, all 45 Republican senators and 11 Democrats are pushing for a separate vote. They say the issue is "energy security" and "jobs," even thought Keystone would provide neither.
Meanwhile, in Kansas, ALEC’s bill, pushed by Americans for Prosperity, to repeal the Renewable Portfolio Standard failed in a tight House vote, 63-60. Utilities must get 20% of their power from renewable sources by 2020.
All these events take place as the US National Climate Assessment is released today. Read about it in our next article.