Keystone is alive and well, but not in Louisiana. What was voted down in the Senate is Keystone XL, an extension to an already existing pipeline system that runs all the way down to Houston (or will by next year). Senator Landrieu was given the dubious favor by Harry Reid of having a vote in the Senate on Keystone XL, her last gasp attempt to convince voters in her state that she holds a certain amount of leverage in the upper chamber. With the runoff elections coming up soon, she now has this defeat hanging heavy over her and voters may well decide that despite her support for the energy industry, it would be far better for Louisiana to have a GOP senator advocating their interests in Washington. Obama gets a free pass, for now, on having to veto legislation giving the go ahead to Keystone XL. Rumor has it that Barak is no fan of Mary, her tactics to try and get a favorable ruling having angered the White House and ultimately backfired.

If you ask Bill Cassidy, the GOP Representative for Baton Rouge who will face Landrieu on Dec. 6, he’ll say she’s on the wrong team. He would know. The Chicago-born physician was a Democrat and actually supported Landrieu in 2002. He switched teams when the bureaucracy of the public health care system drove him to the view that big government was not the solution. And he’s backed up that change of heart with real action on the ground providing health care to the needy in his state in admirable and innovative grass roots projects. He of course, should he win and the odds look pretty good, will have a seat on the Senate Energy Committee in a GOP controlled Senate. And he will be part of a GOP majority that will re-introduce Keystone XL and force Obama to approve it or veto it. Rather than having Landrieu desperately trying to line up support for the measure among her colleagues, there will be one more GOP senate seat in an increasingly solid majority determined to re-introduce the bill. That’s a bet that Louisiana voters, whose jobs, in large part, depend on a thriving energy sector and an extended Keystone pipeline, seem to be increasingly willing to take.

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