Next week, Harry Reid will hold a vote on the Keystone pipeline. Why? To help Mary Landrieu hang on to her Senate seat. Landrieu wants to posture as a pro-energy Keystone supporter, and Reid is happy to give her the opportunity.
There is a nice irony here. Tom Steyer contributed (or promised to contribute, anyway) $100 million to anti-Keystone Democrats. The Democrats happily accepted his money and nearly all of them toed the “green” line. Now that the election is over–except for Landrieu’s race–who cares about carbon dioxide that used to be the greatest threat ever known to mankind? Not Harry Reid.
It will be interesting to see how the Senate votes. In 2012, the Senate actually voted on Keystone; the tally was 56-42, not enough to overcome the Democrats’ filibuster. In 2013, 62 senators purported to vote for the pipeline. But that was on John Hoeven’s amendment to a non-binding budget resolution, so it was just for show.
It seems pretty clear that the lame-duck session will not muster 60 votes, which means that the Senate bill–co-sponsored by Mary Landrieu and supported by every Republican–will go down to defeat. But the Democrats’ political purpose will be served, which is all that Mary Landrieu and Harry Reid care about. And Tom Steyer hasn’t been heard to object, either.