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Sen. Dick Durbin Could Determine The Future Of Keystone XL Bill

The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline could lay in the hands of Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin — who has yet to say whether he supports legislation to approve the pipeline.

Pro-Keystone senators currently have 59 votes shortly before a bill introduced by Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is brought to the floor for a vote. Landrieu and fellow pro-Keystone Democrats are scrambling to find a 60th vote to gain a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Houston Chronicle reporter Jennifer Dlouhy tweeted out that Durbin has avoided questions from the press about his pipeline support.

Sen. Dick Durbin cagey on his #KeystoneXL plans. “I’ll tell you later,” he tells reporters when @nickjuliano asks.

— Jennifer A. Dlouhy (@jendlouhyhc) November 18, 2014

Environmentalists and other left-wing groups are using the last hours before the Senate is set to vote on Keystone to convince Durbin to vote “no” and shame those Democrats who have promised a “yes” vote on the bill.

.@SenatorDurbin, please stand with us again for climate, clean air and water and vote no on #KeystoneXL.

— NRDC (@NRDC) November 18, 2014

California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, a vocal opponent of the pipeline, said Keystone XL stood for “extra lethal.” Boxer claims that Canadian oil sands is more toxic than conventional oil.

“You will not hear a word about the from the proponents!” Boxer exclaimed, not mentioning the fact that there is already a pipeline bringing oil sands to refineries in Illinois — the state Durbin represents.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that President Obama should veto the Keystone bill if it makes it the his desk.

Pipeline supporters are trying to convince Durbin to vote in favor of the pipeline. Supporters are also trying to sway Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Chris Coons of Delaware. Republican strategist Amy Kremer tweets:

#KeystoneXL #KeystonePipeline vote on the @ussenate floor @ 6:15 PM. Tell @SenBillNelson @SenCoonsOffice @DickDurbin 2 vote YES! #KXL

— Amy Kremer (@AmyKremer) November 18, 2014

The Senate is set to vote on Landrieu’s Keystone bill Tuesday evening. Landrieu’s legislative push for Keystone’s approval comes after years of delays from the Obama administration and ahead of her runoff re-election next month against Republican challenger Bill Cassidy.

Cassidy introduced his own Keystone bill, which was passed in the House last week. Though he supports the Senate’s efforts to pass Keystone legislation, Cassidy has called into question Landrieu’s motives for bringing a bill to the floor now after years of delays with an election looming.

2,250 days to act, and nothing. Why is Mary Landrieu just now moving on #KeystoneXLpic.twitter.com/aitJL0N3RA

— Bill Cassidy (@BillCassidy) November 18, 2014

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