WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 – The House approved today, with a mostly party-line vote of 245-175, legislation (H.R. 3) that would make a presidential permit not necessary to approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
While the House has approved legislation several times to circumvent the administration’s opposition to the project, this bill is considered dead in the water as the administration has said it will veto the legislation
The pipeline would transport oil from the Alberta oil sands south to refineries in Texas. Opponents have argued the 1,700-mile project would increase global warming and make the United States more dependent on “dirty fossil fuel.”
The administration has repeatedly said the pipeline needs more study, while supporters have said it would create many jobs and lower U.S. dependency on foreign oil.
After the vote, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., issued a challenge to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
“I urge Senate Majority Leader Reid to get the Keystone XL pipeline off the mat and bring it to the floor for a vote,” McCarthy said.
The bill could have some traction in the Senate, if Reid is ready to oppose the administration. In a letter, a bipartisan group of 53 senators urged President Obama on Jan. 23 to approve the pipeline.
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