A freshman Senate class was sworn in Jan. 3, bringing diverse skills and experience – not to mention agendas – to the legislative body. Whether the 14 newest senators help break partisan gridlock, or refuse to work across the aisle, will be the test for the 113th Congress.Twelve were elected on Nov. 6, including three Republicans, eight Democrats, and an independent. In addition, a Republican and a Democrat were appointed to vacant seats after the election. Here is a look at the 14 and what they bring to the Senate:
The EPA will unveil new regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. The EPA power plant rules are the most aggressive of President Obama's Climate Action Plan and have already provoked heated debate over a complex issue.
The Keystone XL pipeline suffered a legal setback Wednesday when a state court voided the Nebraska governor's approval of the project. After more than five years of review, the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline still hangs in the balance.
The US State Department released its final environmental report on Keystone XL, triggering a 90-day deadline for President Obama to make a final decision on the controversial oil pipeline. Over five years of debate, Keystone XL has become a flash point in US energy.
Many economic indicators are doing well. Yet Americans say they lack certainty about the future, perhaps starting with trust in government handling of the economy. The uncertainty gap needs to close.
Keystone XL protesters used President Obama's Wednesday speech on health care to put the Canada-Texas pipeline back in the spotlight. Attention has shifted away from Keystone XL in recent months as fiscal debates and health care have overshadowed climate change in Washington.
The Keystone pipeline was first proposed five years ago. A lot has changed since then and the Canadian economy is starting to ponder a future that's less coupled to the US energy market, Graeber writes. TransCanada, with its domestic pipeline proposal, is already hedging its bets on the Keystone pipeline.
With the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline up in the air, the company behind the controversial pipeline is pushing forward with a separate pipeline to refineries in Canada.