Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu has met her political Waterloo in the Keystone Pipeline XL bill. The embattled senator is down 16 points in the polls ahead of a runoff election on December 6. In a bid to convince voters that she had clout as the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee to force its passage, she boldly stated that she could break the filibuster on the funding and construction of the pipeline. Today’s vote to break cloture on the Keystone Pipeline XL fell one vote short of required 60 votes
Last night, Landrieu declared she had secured the 60 votes, but by morning, the two most likely senators to support the bill came out against it. The Democrat party has a strong allegiance to the environmental lobby or “kook environmentalists” as many in the GOP refer to them. At the final tally, Andrew Heiberger says Democrats decided it made more sense to appease the environmental lobby than help Landrieu in her reelection bid. In all likelihood, getting the pipeline bill passed in the Senate would not guarantee Landrieu would get reelected. At the same time, it would alienate the environmental lobby.
Next year, the new GOP Senate majority takes control, and they promise to bring the bill up for a vote again. Its passage is virtually guaranteed. Rep. Bill Cassidy, Landrieu’s GOP challenger sponsored the House bill which passed on Friday. He stated that the failed vote was indicative of her entire tenure in the Energy Committee.