Greg Nash

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said he will vote against legislation to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Tuesday.

King was considered a crucial potential supporter by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who appears to have 59 votes. She is just one short of the 60 needed to get her measure approving the oil sands project to President Obama’s desk.

{mosads}Without King, chances of picking up the final vote needed to reach a filibuster-proof majority on Tuesday remain slim. 

The Maine senator was coy about his vote Monday evening, stating he was “leaning no” and would decide when he cast his vote Tuesday evening.

But as the Senate started debate on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline Tuesday, King released an official statement announcing his opposition. 

“Congress is not — nor should it be — in the business of legislating the approval or disapproval of a construction project,” King said. 

“And while I am frustrated that the President has refused to make a decision on the future of the pipeline, I don’t believe that short-circuiting the process to circumvent his Administration is in the best interest of the American people,” he added.

King urged the president to make a decision “soon,” noting that if he doesn’t, “I look forward to working with Congress to put a timeframe on this decision.”

On Monday, Landrieu also targeted outgoing Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), but both said later in the evening that they would be voting no.

The Senate vote was pushed by Landrieu last week within minutes of the lame-duck session starting and is seen as a move to boost her for her December runoff against Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). Both candidates have touted their energy credentials in Louisiana.

Tags Angus King Keystone Pipeline Mary Landrieu

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