The House has voted 252 to 161 to approve a bill that would direct the federal government to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline. The Senate is scheduled to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 18th, that vote could send the measure to President Obama’s desk.
This is the ninth time that the House has voted for a measure to force the approval of the pipeline. And there is thought to be little change that this vote will matter. The Democrats have a majority in the Senate until the Republican take over in January, and it’s unlikely that the bill will attract 60 votes, enough to avoid a filibuster. President Obama has also signaled he will possibly veto the bill if it does reach his desk.
“While the White House has not issued a formal veto threat, it has indicated it is prepared to reject the House bill; press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday it has recommended vetoes against similar bills in the past. And barring an extraordinary legislative maneuver forcing his hand next Congress, according to individuals familiar with the administration’s thinking, Obama is likely to reject a final permit when the matter comes before him.” – Washington Post
While the status of the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is still in the air, the southern leg that runs from Cushing, Oklahoma to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, is already up and running. Though many are still fighting it in Oklahoma and Texas.
Due to many environmental and property rights concerns the Keystone XL has faced many delays. TransCanada Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, the pipeline owner, first submitted the application more than six years ago to the State Department.
The Obama administration had delayed its review of the pipeline back in April until a lawsuit in Nebraska, addressing questions about a state law dealing with the pipeline’s route in the state, is resolved.
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