BREAKING NEWS: Mad scramble for Keystone in both Houses – meanwhile OPEC sweats

With the Senate run-off election between incumbent Representative Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) gaining momentum in Louisiana, both parties are throwing their weight behind the Keystone pipeline.

Right now (Wednesday evening), on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is pushing for a vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline to take place tonight, in a move Democrats hope could boost her to victory in her December runoff election.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Landrieu said she would request a unanimous consent vote opening the issue up to debate for two hours ahead of a vote tomorrow.

“I believe with a push, a significant push in the next few hours that we can actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline,” she said on the Senate floor.

“At the request of the minority I am going to wait for about an hour and then going to propose unanimous consent to do just that. To set up two hours of debate tonight after the vote and then have a vote on the Keystone pipeline tomorrow,” Landrieu added.

Meanwhile, over in the House of Representatives, House Republicans quickly followed her request for Senate action by announcing that they are moving the same legislation. And they made sure to make the bill’s lead sponsor, yes, you guessed it, Rep. Bill Cassidy!

“The House has passed legislation to expedite the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline eight times,” Cassidy said in a statement. “The Senate did not consider any of the eight. I will now pass a bill identical to the bill the Senate is said to consider to push this issue forward. If the Senate also passes the bill it can go straight to the President’s desk for signature. It is easy to wonder if the Senate is only considering this because of politics, even so, I hope the Senate and the President do the right thing and pass this legislation creating thousands of jobs.”

The real story here is that Louisiana is an energy state. It depends upon hosting the refineries and gas and oil shipping docks. So this push for Keystone is playing well back home on the bayou. At the same time, however, it also spells jobs along the entire length of the pipeline, which runs from Canada to the Gulf. Thanks to the Canadian tar sands and the fracking across America, North America is looking at a period of expansion in the energy industry.


Ali al-Naim, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister publicly knocked talk of an OPEC “price war” but did little in the way of clarifying what the cartel will do about falling prices.

Speaking in Mexico, he said Saudi oil policy is not changing and has been stable for decades. He said the market, not Saudi Arabia, sets prices, and that the kingdom is doing what it can with other producers to ensure stability, according to Reuters.

The oil market has become focused on the Nov. 27 OPEC meeting, and there is much talk that its members will have to agree to cut production if they want to see the 30% decline in prices begin to reverse.

Oil prices continued lower today (Wednesday), with Brent crude futures falling further after the Saudi minister spoke, breaking $80 per barrel for the first time since September, 2010. Brent ended the day at $80.38, down 1.6%, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate was also lower, falling more than 1% to $77.18 per barrel.

LIFE HACK: It’s a good time to invest in companies that benefit from cheap oil, like restaurant chains and airlines. Be assured, this will all impact the dollar. We’ll bring you news of how to prepare soon. This is the first time in a long time that the value of the dollar doesn’t appear tied to the price of oil. There will be money to be made if you are prepared, and as an Independent Living Reader, I know you’re always prepared.