US House sends message on Keystone pipeline

May 23, 2013
Environmental activists march through midtown protesting the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, May 13, 2013 in New York. US lawmakers agreed to a bill that would speed construction of a Canada-US oil pipeline and circumvent the need for President Barack Obama's approval for the $5 billion project

US lawmakers agreed to a bill that would speed construction of a Canada-US oil pipeline and circumvent the need for President Barack Obama's approval for the $5 billion project.

By a 241-175 vote, the House of Representatives passed the largely symbolic measure to end regulatory delays on the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project which House Speaker John Boehner noted is shown in polls to have the support of most Americans.

"The Keystone pipeline will create tens of thousands of American jobs and pump nearly a million barrels of oil to US each day, helping to lower , boost economic growth, enhance our , and revitalize manufacturing," Boehner said after the vote.

The Democrat-held Senate is unlikely to take up the bill, particularly after the White House released a statement Tuesday saying Obama would veto it if it reached his desk.

Republicans have long urged the president to greenlight the pipeline, claiming it would create jobs and help reduce US dependence on fuel from outside North America.

The project aims to build a 1,980-mile (3,200-kilometer) conduit for oil from Canada's tar sands region to the US Gulf Coast.

The project was proposed back in 2008, but after years of delays, operator TransCanada split the project in two, and construction began on a southern section that does not require presidential approval.

The US State Department is currently preparing its final review of the project; it concluded in a draft report earlier this year that it would have no major impact on the environment.

The White House has so far declined to rule, citing environmental concerns.

The oil would come from Alberta's , considered to have "dirty" oil that requires a complex extraction process, which critics say would further contribute to .

There was significant opposition to the initial route because it passed through Nebraska's environmentally sensitive Sand Hills , and over a huge and critical aquifer that serves eight US states.

Opponent Jerrold Nadler, a House Democrat from New York, cited the environmental threats posed by the project and said the law would be "short-circuiting the review process."

Explore further: Pipeline that leaked wasn't equipped with auto shut-off

Related Stories

Rubber plantation brings both work and worries to Gabon

May 20, 2015

When one of the world's biggest traders of agricultural commodities went to Gabon's government with a multi-million-dollar plan to produce rubber, the authorities jumped at the chance to diversify an oil-dependent ...

Build or burn? Competition for wood on the rise

Apr 28, 2015

Wood is becoming an increasingly popular raw material - and not just in the construction sector. More and more private households and municipal authorities are also using wood for heating. All of which is ...

Measurement of components in 3D under water

Apr 01, 2015

Conveying systems for oil and gas, operated in the sea have many important underwater components. The maintenance of such components is elaborate and expensive, as measuring them is complicated. Fraunhofer ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.