Thursday, March 22, 2012

Butting Heads at the Senate hearing on the Keystone XL Pipeline

March 21, 2012- Yesterday at the Senate hearing for the Keystone XL Pipeline, tensions were high between Democratic Senator Max Baucus from Montana and Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont.

Senator Baucus is Chairman of the Finance Committee and Senator Sanders is a majority member on the committee.

Even though these two Senators are a part of the same party they did not seem to get along at the hearing yesterday. There even seemed to be a strong dislike between the two.

Senator Baucus started the hearing by inviting Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar and Secretary of Energy, Stephen Chu up for questioning. He first gave Senator Kent Conrad from North Dakota the floor to question the two Secretaries.

Senator Bill Nelson from Florida took the floor afterwards. All the while, Senator Sanders tried to get a word in but Senator Baucus kept telling the Senator it was not his turn.

Towards the end of the interviewing session, Senator Sanders tried to ask a question about renewable energy. Chairman Baucus shut the question down by telling Senator Sanders, "We are done here" and hit the gavel so hard that he broke it.

This action was concerning to the crowd and the other Senators. Senator Bill Nelson commented that "Senator Baucus spent more time controling the hearing than focusing on the situation at hand".

Senator Bernie Sanders told CNN, "Yesterday at the hearing, I felt that my fellow Sentor Max Baucus treated me very disrespectfully...The Keystone Pipeline is dangerous for not only our nation, but also for the rest of the planet. His cutting me off because I have a different opinion was uncalled for. I hope that in future hearings he will give me adequate time to speak and will respect what I have to say. "

Baucus took his control of the Finance Committee more seriously than the situation of the Keystone XL Pipeline and ended up disrespecting other members on the committee that are also in his same party.

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