WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after voting with 61 Senate colleagues to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline.
"The Keystone pipeline approval process has been mired in partisan politics and has dragged on for six long years. Unfortunately, this issue – more than any other – has kept Congress from doing long-overdue work on comprehensive energy legislation. Last November, I voted to approve the pipeline in part because I felt that six years of deliberation on this project was enough, and it was time to move on to other matters that will have a greater impact on our environment, our economy, and our energy security. Also, the State Department's environmental impact study demonstrated that the negative environmental impacts of the pipeline will be relatively few, and the judicial process in Nebraska has now run its course. I hoped that my vote would be a signal to my Republican colleagues that I was serious about working together to find common ground on this and other challenging policies. Today, I voted to allow the pipeline to proceed for those same reasons.
"I am disappointed by the way the legislative process broke down as we considered this bill. I had hoped to work on a bipartisan basis with my colleagues to make sound changes to our nation's energy policy, and it was in this spirit that I filed three thoughtful amendments. I have long advocated for an all-of-the-above energy policy, and I have also championed common-sense measures to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, improve air quality and stem the tide of climate change. I think my colleagues and I, along with the administration, have missed an opportunity to work together – not only to improve the underlying bill, but also to enact the thoughtful, comprehensive energy policy that our nation badly needs. I am optimistic, however, that there is consensus to be found on both sides of the aisle and that with some willingness and hard work, we can find the principled, bipartisan compromise that Americans deserve."