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House approves Keystone XL Pipeline

Washington, DC, January 9, 2015 | Nicole Bender (202-225-3706)
Tags: Energy

As one of the first major legislative moves in the new Congress, the House passed a bill providing congressional authorization of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Area Congressman Mac Thornberry voted to approve the measure, which passed 266 to 153.
“There are no more excuses to block the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  It is not rocket science; it is common sense.  The House is acting yet again to get the project moving,” said Rep. Thornberry. “The only things standing in the way of building this pipeline, creating thousands of jobs, and gaining greater energy security are President Obama and radical environmentalists.  And that is unacceptable,” he concluded.
The Keystone XL Pipeline would transport Canadian oil sands crude extracted in Alberta, Canada, and crude produced from the Bakken region in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. The project has bipartisan support in the House and Senate. It is also backed by a wide variety of business groups and some labor unions that argue the pipeline will create thousands of jobs, help jumpstart growth, and promote energy independence.
Normally, the U.S. government does not have to approve such pipelines; however, since this pipeline connects the U.S. to Canada, the pipeline needs presidential approval.  
The House has voted several times to authorize the pipeline over the last four years.  But unlike previous attempts, this bill will be sent to a Republican-controlled Senate, which is scheduled to take the bill up next week.
Ahead of the House vote, Nebraska's highest court cleared the proposed route for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The ruling will let the Administration resume its almost-completed review of the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.  They had suspended the process in April citing the ongoing court case. The Nebraska ruling puts additional pressure on the Obama Administration to act.