There were no surprises among Wisconsin’s US senators, when the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared a procedural hurdle late Monday. Republican Ron Johnson voted yes and Democrat Tammy Baldwin voted no, when the Senate took a 63-32 test vote on the long-debated project that would send Canadian crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries.
It was four votes short of a two-thirds majority required to override an expected presidential veto.
The bill’s sponsor, North Dakota Republican John Hoeven, said he hoped to sweeten the package with amendments to get four additional Democrats on board. Otherwise, he said he might have to attach the Keystone project to another bill that can get a veto-proof majority.
In previous votes, Baldwin said Congress has no business approving an individual pipeline – while her fellow Democrats said the line might cause oil spills and groundwater contamination. Johnson recently reiterated his support for Keystone XL, saying it’s the most efficient way to move North American crude oil.