Murkowski: Keystone XL pipeline will be a priority in new Congress

The bill to force authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline failed in the Senate on Tuesday, but U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she expects to see it back and next time Republicans will be in control.

“I’m disappointed that we couldn’t get the votes … to approve this important infrastructure project, but this isn’t over,” Murkowski said. “The Keystone XL pipeline will be a top priority next year for the new majority. It’s been over six years that this project has been under review – that’s more than enough time for President (Barack) Obama to make a decision.”

The bill received bipartisan support with all 45 Republicans and 14 Democrats voting to approve the pipeline, but ultimately fell one vote short of passing. Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, believes that will change when Republicans take control of the Senate in the 114th Congress.

If the vote had passed the Senate, it was widely believed that Obama would have vetoed it.

“There is little dispute about whether this pipeline is in the national interest,” Murkowski said. “It will boost our economy, our security, and our competitiveness. The president’s foot-dragging has only deprived Americans of badly needed jobs, a stable source of energy from a close ally and our usual reputation for a fair system in which project developers can have confidence that federal regulators are acting in good faith.”