The U.S. Senate again refused on Thursday to acknowledge the human role in climate change, voting down two proposals that would have forced members to go on record as recognizing scientific reality.
Senators first rejected an amendment to the underlying bill authorizing the KXL oil pipeline that specified that climate change is “real” and “caused by human activities” and “has already caused devastating problems in the United States and around the world.” The proposal, offered by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., also included language that encouraged research into “clean fossil fuel technology.”
The Senate tabled the amendment, 53-46, with only one Republican – Mark Kirk of Illinois – voting with Democrats to allow floor debate on its merits.
Later, an amendment introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that also acknowledged human impacts on the atmosphere and oceans and that emphasized the importance of developing non-fossil fuel energy sources was also tabled.
The chamber, with every one of 54 majority Republicans opposed to it, voted 56-42 to table it. Democratic senators Heidi Heitkamp of oil-producing state North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri also voted to deny consideration of its merits.
Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced late Thursday night that the Senate would not consider additional amendments to S.1. A vote on whether to cut off floor debate on the bill itself is expected early next week.
President Barack Obama has threatened to veto any bill that interferes with his authority to decide whether or not to grant the permit required to construct the KXL pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border.