On Thursday, President Obama’s Senate Allies killed off amendment added to the highway bill that would have fast tracked the Keystone XL Pipeline.
President Obama was reported have made phone calls to several Senate Democrats to ensure that the amendment did not receive the 60 votes need to advance. The final vote was 56-42, with 11 Democrats crossing party lines (it should be noted that Senators Kirk (R-Ill.) and Thune (R-SD) were absent.
The amendment was sponsored by Senator Hoeven states that President Obama would have no role in such cross border permitting decisions since the pipeline starts in Canada. Senator Hoeven noted after the final vote that the measure received 11 crossover votes and would have received 58 votes, if all Republicans had been present to vote.
President Obama has accused Republicans of playing politics with the pipeline, which is opposed by environmentalists and the president has called for more studies before rendering any final decisions.
The 11 Democrat Senators crossing party lines were Baucus, Begich, Casey, Conrad, Hagan, Landrieu, Manchin, McCaskill, Pryor, Tester and Webb.
The vote comes the same day that CBS release a poll showing that more than 3 out of 4 Super Tuesday voters say that raising gas prices were a very important factor in who and how they voted. Just the day before President Obama dismissed, “oil as the fuel of the past,” as he continues to push alternative fuel as a way to bring down rising gas prices.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hit back later Wednesday after in stating, “While the President has called for the end subsidies to oil companies, he is also directing the government to help, so called green companies, some which have political ties to the administration.”
Several solar panel companies that donated to the President’s 2008 Campaign, then received government approved loans that were passed on as bonus to executives before those companies went bankrupt.
Experts have predicted that tensions in the Middle East coupled with rising demand in India, China and developing nations could push gas price as high as $4.25 nationally before the Easter Holidays and over $5 before the Memorial Day Holiday. Other experts are predicting that gas prices could go as high as $8-$10 dollars in some regions, if one or more major hurricanes disrupt oil and refinery production in the Gulf regions over the summer.