Baucus Could Force Roads and Keystone Pipeline

Aaron Flint posted on April 24, 2012 09:33 :: 971 Views

Montanans can get their road money, and they can get started on what some are calling “the most shovel-ready job in America” up and running- construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  And Montana’s *Senior* US Senator Max Baucus (D) can make it all happen.    

I stress the “senior senator” part, because the mainstream media here in Montana always copies and pastes that from the senator’s press releases.  Well, now it is time for the senior senator to put that seniority to work.  Can he?  Will he?  All relevant questions. 

But, for today, the question facing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was whether or not to place Sen. Baucus on the conference committee who will decide whether roads get funded, and whether or not Congress will force the President’s hand on the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

Politico’s Morning Transportation has this:

‘A Baucus question’: Jay Rockefeller said Reid planned to name the conferees Monday afternoon “but it was kind of a Baucus question.” About Keystone? “Yeah.” An aide for Baucus’s office said, “Speculation on hypothetical proposals before the conference committee would be premature. … That said, no one is a bigger supporter of the Keystone pipeline. … But, Sen. Baucus will not put more than 1 million American jobs supported by the highway bill in jeopardy unless he’s sure whatever Keystone measure proposed has the legs to pass Congress, be signed into law, and stand up to legal scrutiny.” And Boxer has pipeline doubts to begin with, telling reporters: “Keystone may not come up. Keystone may come up. We don’t know.”

Baucus, as Chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee, is in a position to be able to force the president and the US Senate on this question.  If he doesn’t, his supposed support of the Keystone pipeline will look like nothing more than pandering. 

UPDATE: At 8:45 AM Mountain Time, Sen Baucus just released this statement:

Montana’s senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus released the following statement today after being appointed to the bipartisan Conference Committee that will work to negotiate a Highway Bill Compromise between the House and Senate.

“Construction season is on its way and Montana highway jobs can’t afford to sit at a yellow light because of another short-term extension. The Senate worked together for months and months to carefully craft a bipartisan plan that invests in long-term highway jobs without adding a dime to the deficit, and I’m ready to get to work in Conference to get it across the finish line and signed into law as soon as possible,” Baucus said.

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