OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate passes Keystone despite veto threat

NEW ERA IN THE SENATE: Or so Republicans said over and over on Thursday after successfully pushing through legislation to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

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"Mainly what we had to prove was that we weren't like the 113th Congress," said Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Air Force makes criminal reporting changes after Texas massacre We need a better pathway for allowing civilians to move guns across state lines MORE (R-Texas) on the floor after the upper chamber voted 62-36 to give the $8 billion project a thumbs up.

"It's a new day in the Senate."

Nine Democrats joined with all Republicans in voting to approve the Canada-to-Texas project. 

The bill is certain to be vetoed by President Obama. Before Congress sends it to his desk the House has to decide whether to vote on the Senate version, which includes six amendments, or go to conference committee.

Read more on Thursday's vote here.  

FRIDAY'S AGENDA: 

EnergyNet will wrap up its summit on the United States's Power Africa initiative. Overseas Private Investment Corporation President Elizabeth Littlefield will give a keynote address, as will Patrick Gaspard, the U.S.  ambassador to South Africa.

The Wharton Club DC will host a forum on Hyundai Motor Co.'s fuel cell Tucson, the first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

NEWS BITE:

It's all about the politics... Democrats quickly used Thursday’s Keystone XL vote in the Senate to fundraise.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) sent out an email with the subject line "Republicans just passed Keystone XL," despite the fact that nine Democrats voted with the Republican caucus on the bill. 

"The new Senate GOP majority just voted to advance Keystone XL, even though President Obama has promised to veto it," the email says. It asks the user to sign a petition and then to donate to the DNC.

Blowing in the wind...The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) auctioned off the rights to build wind turbines in about 354,000 acres of water off the coast of Massachusetts Thursday.

The sale was the fourth competitive auction BOEM has held for offshore wind energy rights. 

The United States does not have any commercial-scale offshore wind energy facilities.

OffshoreMW and RES America Inc. each won a provisional auction, with high bids totaling $448,171. 

"We are pleased to see continued commercial interest in the offshore wind industry, as demonstrated by today’s lease sale, particularly given the water depth of the wind energy area offshore Massachusetts," BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.

"With provisional winners who are well established and have experience in developing wind energy facilities, we are optimistic about a strong renewable energy future offshore Massachusetts." 

AROUND THE WEB: 

New Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) restored a ban on hydraulic fracturing in state parks Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports

Royal Dutch Shell is endorsing a proposal by activist investors that would force it to report on what climate change and policies to fight it would mean to the company’s operations, Reuters reports.

The mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., was threatened after he spoke on MSNBC about climate change, the Hartford Courant reports.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Check out Wednesday's stories...

- Fact checker hits Jeb Bush on oil imports

- Senate votes to build Keystone, defying veto threat from Obama

- Nuclear regulators say Yucca disposal site would be safe

- Obama's budget $78B above caps

- Obama administration 'can comply' with natural gas export bill

- McConnell: 'Powerful special interests' couldn't stop Keystone bill

- Whip list: How senators will vote on Keystone XL pipeline

- Senate moves to final Keystone vote

- Shell wants to resume Arctic drilling this year

  

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