WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says he would support the Keystone XL pipeline, but he’s unsure the project will come up for vote in the Senate.

“They’re just in a political tug-of-war here,” said Manchin (D-W.Va.), speaking from Capitol Hil  on Wednesday’s edition of MetroNews “Talkline.”

More than five years into the permit review process, the Obama Administration’s State Department has again delayed a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.  The U.S. State Department is involved because TransCanada’s proposed 1,200-mile pipeline would cross an international boundary by carrying crude oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, en route to Gulf Coast and MidWest refineries.

On Capitol Hill, impatience is growing.

This week, there have been efforts to amend a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline into an energy efficiency bill the U.S. Senate is considering, but such an amendment was unlikely as of Wednesday.

Instead, the Senate could vote on a stand-alone bill as early as Thursday authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline. Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) have introduced that bill, with Landrieu calling the repeated delays “irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”

“They’re saying, ‘Vote Keystone up or down.’ No problem. I’m for it, I’m voting for it,” said Manchin.

As of Wednesday, though, Manchin said “They’re really caught up on amendments.”

If the U.S. Senate approves the pipeline project, it would next go to the U.S. House for consideration.

Supporters claim the pipeline would create thousands of jobs while helping improve the country’s energy independence, but opponents have refuted those job figures and pointed to the possible negative environmental effects of the pipeline.

If the Keystone XL pipeline is approved this year, TransCanada officials have said the pipeline could be in service by 2015— transporting an estimated 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

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  • Richard

    Why is it that every time jumping joe has a chance to speak he gets on the soap box and campaigns for his next election. He should do his job and represent WV not the democrat party. Here in WV we are pro life, pro gun, and anti obamadontcare and so far jumping joe has proven he is pro choice, anti gun and pro obamadontcare. It is time jumping joe must go.

  • Hughesknight

    American industry and trade unions have joined to support the construction of the pipeline. The states where this passes through are in support because of the construction and property tax impact. The department of state's EIS found no impact that would keep this from being built. The carbon impact of the pipeline is zero. The sands will be developed with or without the Priceline. The pipeline is safer than the rail cars which have had a number of spills. The oil will be refined in the us . Some will go to the Us and some will be exported. Taxes and jobs go with refining and exports are a positive towards are international balance of payments. Imports from Canada are already increasing and it is better to get imports from Canada than the Mideast. 10 years ago 60% of our oil came from abroad today 30 percent comes from abroad and increasingly that is from Mexicos and Canada two of our most solid allies .this strengthens the relations with one of our prime allies, Canada. Rich elitist who already have theirs oppose this project on principle t to the detriment of working men who just want to support their families and put food on the table. There is no significant negative environmental impact as determined by President Obama's department of state, the most environmental administration ever here and in the world today. The President may end up approving this to help at risk democratic senators win and save the senate in November. So the right thing may be done for the wrong reason.

    • ViennaGuy

      - The President may end up approving this to help at risk democratic senators win and save the senate in November. So the right thing may be done for the wrong reason. -

      It will be interesting to see if re-electing Democratic senators is more important to Obama than satisfying the extreme environmentalists in his base. I think he's under a lot of pressure from both sides. It's quite the political calculus.

      I want to see the pipeline approved and built, but I'm not very optimistic that Obama will approve it.

      • Jeremy

        I would like to see some relief at the pump also, but I don't think his (Obummer) opposition to the pipeline has anything to do with the environment. I think there is alot of his backers that like to see high oil prices in the USA. If he approves the pipeline, their profit margins will slide and they will have to go back to extorting another energy sector.

        • The bookman

          I'm no fan of Obama, however, Keystone approval will gave zero effect on prices at the pump. The tar sands crude is going to market and entering the world supply, either on the Gulf or on the Pacific. The minute it enters the market OPEC will decide whether the bbl price will remain stable, and make any adjustments to output. The most important factors keeping oil at high levels is world instability and the weak dollar. Keystone changes none of that. All that having been said, they should build the pipeline so that US refiners handle the crude, and there is no real reason not to complete the project.

  • Bea Conetta

    It is ridiculous to think that any right-thinking American would vote for the Keystone pipeline. There are only negatives that would happen to the USA if it was approved.
    The only ones who would benefit are the mega rich who are greedy and don't give a hoot for the people and the environment that would suffer. It should be voted down and the president, if he is for the people as he says, should definitely veto it if it does pass.

    • Jack

      Bea, I can read from your post that you are one of those tree hugging environmentalists who are against everything to keep this nation moving forward. Maybe you and your type should move into the woods, as thats where you belong.

    • Fiscal Conservative

      I'm curious what do you know of pipeline laying processes?Are you a petroleum engineer or for that matter and environmental engineer? The laying and construction of this pipeline alone would creates a ton of good paying jobs, not to mention maintenance and reclamation. Could you explain the environmental impact or even what it takes to implement the proposed pipeline?

      • thornton

        Petroleum engineers really would have nothing to do with a pipeline installation...could have a person involved who has a PE but...little more than that.

        But no, few negatives for the pipeline...could have some minor soil compaction or erosion issues in certain areas, could have the disturbed soil ripe for invasive plants, accidents...small-ish and nearly unavoidable construction issues like those and more.

        I would doubt the "tons" of jobs....but jobs would occur and folks will benefit. Often, folks only marginally connected to the actual pipeline itself.

        Past Bea's "rich and greedy" predictable tootings ...she and that ilk hits there limiters.

        • thornton

          "hit their"....:-), this outfit needs an ability to allow for big fingers on little keys or other such changes.

          • thornton

            You have a hard job with the point-making, FC....as Eric Hoffer said...."An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head."
            Good luck.

          • Fiscal Conservative

            Thornton I agree it doesn't have to be a PE on a pipeline but a lot of times it is with larger companies. As far as the jobs go it will provide work for a lot of contractors, as well as allow said contractors to expand their employee base. I also agree that the environmental impact is little. Really I was just trying to make a simplistic point to a simple person.

  • LindainCO

    The only solution for energy independence is to get off of oil. Why won't our oil companies get their heads out of the nether regions and try to come into the 21st century?

    • John

      Your answer: Money

      • Fiscal Conservative

        What form of energy do you suppose we transition to? Just curious.

  • LindainCO

    The pipeline will do nothing for energy independence, the oil produced is already promised to China. The sad fact is that many waterways in Canada have been poisoned to the point that people are dying of cancer directly attributed to the cyanide and other toxic minerals and additives in the water. These are formerly pristine forests that are now stripped of vegetation, the wildlife killed and people dying. Canada Oil promised reclamation, but the native people in those areas have not had anything remotely close to that. It would be worse in the U.S., where American oil companies don't even attempt a cover-up. The stories of destruction world-wide from American pipelines are horrendous.

  • polarbear

    The reason for the increase in gas prices in the spring and fall is due to refineries having to reconfigure to and from fuel oil processes. That is why we are seeing gas going up in the last month with no real change in crude oil prices.

    • john

      You had better check the Dow Jones report each day as the price of crude has increased a great deal in the past two months. The changeover to the summer blend does not take that long, yet gasoline and diesel prices stay inflated for weeks. Its just another excuse to jack up prices, the same as with the threat of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Wait until it happens and them adjust prices accordingly, but no, they change the prices upward for fuel the same day as the news report!

      • The bookman

        The Geo-political pressures in Ukraine are inflating crude currently. WTI bubbled up due to the transfer of crude from Cushing OK to the Gulf Coast, as they reversed flow of a major service pipeline between the two locations. The futures market seldom makes much sense, and clearly the movement of storage from one place to another meant nothing in terms of overall supply. We are way oversupplied at this point, with crude supplies at 30+ year highs. If the Ukrainian situation can work itself out, crude will tumble back into the 80's and Brent crude will fall into the 90's. You are correct in the refinery transitions to a degree, but the current bubble is Ukraine.

        • Fiscal Conservative

          I agree bookman, the main reason for this issue is that there are so few areas outside the arab world that have a massive cashe of energy that can get it to Eastern Europe, and any loss of provisions will completely cripple them. This puts political pressure on the US because as we go most of the world goes. Just look at the global economy.

  • John

    Push Obama to the side and over ride his dragging his feet on this project and get this pipeline started before we lose that Canadian oil to China. It would not only help our economy, which God knows needs help, but it would also be much safer way of moving that oil than by rail. Lynchburg, Virginia last week shows a fine example of the dangers of moving that mass amount of oil by rail. Luckily, it wasn't any worse than it was, or could have been. Beside, maybe, just maybe, that oil moved through this pipeline would in turn help curb these rising fuel prices, but I guess that is only wishful thinking.

    • Hillbilly

      We will not see any of this oil, that is why is it going to the Gulf of Mexico, so it can be refined and / or shipped out to other countries.