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: Central Asia hit with record-breaking heatwave

Related Stories

Meeting to cover cleanup plan for former nuke missile site

Jun 30, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to hold a public meeting about a proposal to use vegetable oil to stimulate the growth of naturally occurring bacteria that would clean up groundwater at a former nuclear missile site.

NASA technology protects Webb telescope from contamination

Jun 25, 2015

Contamination from organic molecules can harm delicate instruments and engineers are taking special care at NASA to prevent that from affecting the James Webb Space Telescope (and all satellites and instruments). ...

Supercomputers a hidden power center of Silicon Valley

May 21, 2015

Silicon Valley is famed for spawning the desktop, mobile and cloud computing revolutions. What is less well known is that it's one of the nerve centers for building the world's fastest number-crunchers.

Recommended for you

Cities, regions, demand bigger climate say

1 hour ago

Leaders of city and regional governments gathered Wednesday in the French city of Lyon, in the grips of a western European heatwave, to demand a bigger stake in the global push to curb global warming.

A tale of two (soil) cities

1 hour ago

As we walk along a forest path, the soil beneath our feet seems like a uniform substance. However, it is an intricate network of soil particles, pores, minerals, soil microbes, and more. It is awash in variety.

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.