House approves tar-sands bill

Keystone XL pipeline gets boost from GOP-backed legislation

On May 22, the GOP-led House of Representatives passed a bill to bypass the president in order to hasten approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

The bill was approved by a vote of 241 to 175, with Republicans insisting the bill is necessary to ensure that the pipeline, first proposed in 2008, is constructed, according to The 1,700-mile, $7 billion TransCanada pipeline would carry tar-sands oil from western Canada to refineries on Texas’ Gulf Coast.

The measure was described by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) as a “reckless attempt to avoid environmental review.” Though not likely to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate, it would effectively grant approval to the pipeline project without presidential permit (as required by law) or further environmental review.

“There may be a few of my colleagues who are tired of Keystone bills, but the American people are also tired—tired of $3.70 a gallon gasoline, tired of unemployment above 7 percent, and tired of four years of delays that continue to block this critical jobs and energy project,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).