Environmental Advocates Deride House Passage of Keystone XL Legislation

[node:summary]U.S. House of Representatives passes legislation mandating that Keystone XL pipeline move forward; Senate to Debate on Tuesday.
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Environmental advocates on November 14 derided a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would mandate implementation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

“This tar sands oil pipeline was a bad idea before the election, and it remains a bad idea—a very bad idea,” said Danielle Droitsch, director of the Canada Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement. “The pipeline would mean that more of the world’s dirtiest oil flows through the United States, threatening water supplies. And burning the additional tar sands oil would needlessly worsen climate change.”

The $8 billion project would take up to 800,000 barrels of tarlike bitumen daily from the Alberta oil sands in Canada all the way to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. The bill, while likely heading to the Senate on Tuesday, would probably face a veto from President Barack Obama, The New York Times noted. The U.S. State Department must approve the portion that crosses the U.S.–Canada border, which has held up the main connection between the oil sands and the refineries further south.

The 252-161 vote marked the ninth time the House has passed a bill regarding Keystone XL, Reuters reported. The legislation “circumvents the need for approval of TransCanada Corp's $8 billion project by the Obama administration, which has been considering it for more than six years,” Reuters explained.

Part of what’s pending is legal action in Nebraska, where a court ruling in February negated a state law that would have allowed Keystone XL’s route through Nebraska. Another ruling on that issue is due in the next several weeks, Reuters said.

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