Keystone backers may stand down in efficiency bill debate

Senate Keystone XL pipeline supporters may steer clear of pushing for a vote on the project if a stalled, bipartisan energy efficiency bill makes its way back to the floor.

Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenTrump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump Cabinet officials head west | Zinke says California fires are not 'a debate about climate change' | Perry tours North Dakota coal mine | EPA chief meets industry leaders in Iowa to discuss ethanol mandate 74 protesters charged at Capitol in protest of Kavanaugh MORE (R-N.D.) said Tuesday that he’s not sure whether he’ll revive his pro-Keystone amendment if efficiency legislation sponsored by Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenBrunson release spotlights the rot in Turkish politics and judiciary Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Missing journalist strains US-Saudi ties | Senators push Trump to open investigation | Trump speaks with Saudi officials | New questions over support for Saudi coalition in Yemen Senators demand answers on Trump administration backing of Saudi coalition in Yemen MORE (D-N.H.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOn The Money: Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia | Treasury releases guidance on 'opportunity zone' program | Maxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack Election Countdown: O'Rourke brings in massive M haul | Deal on judges lets senators return to the trail | Hurricane puts Florida candidates in the spotlight | Adelson spending big to save GOP in midterms How Kavanaugh got the votes  MORE (R-Ohio) returns.

“It’s a ‘we’ll see’ at this point,” Hoeven told The Hill, later adding that “we may look at another vehicle.” But he emphasized that any decisions will be based on talks with other lawmakers.

The efficiency bill became entangled in battles over ObamaCare and other contentious topics, and Democrats pulled it off the floor in mid-September.

Shaheen, Portman, and the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee are seeking a path forward to bring a version of the efficiency bill back to the floor.

Shaheen told The Hill Tuesday that she hopes to avoid a battle over Keystone on the efficiency bill.

“I hope we can do that,” she said. “That hasn’t been determined.”

“[I hope] we can not have an amendment on Keystone because I think it detracts from the focus of the legislation,” Shaheen said in the Capitol.

In September Hoeven and Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuLobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president Dems grasp for way to stop Trump's Supreme Court pick MORE (D-La.) led a group of Republicans and centrist Democrats in pushing to amend the efficiency bill with a pro-Keystone “sense of Congress” resolution.

But it didn’t come up for a vote before the Shaheen-Portman bill was pulled from the floor.

Hoeven suggested Tuesday that if pro-Keystone lawmakers don’t push the amendment on the Shaheen-Portman bill, they could secure agreements for backing on another measure.

“They are working mightily to get this [efficiency] bill across the finish line. That is part of our calculation too,” he said. “So we can be helpful here, then we expect that folks will be helpful as we are trying to get something done.”

The underlying Shaheen-Portman bill that stalled on the floor has provisions to boost commercial building codes, help manufacturers conserve energy, train workers in efficiency technologies, and make federal buildings more efficient.