Congress Ready to Pass Keystone Bill
Presidential veto almost certain
The House of Representatives intends to approve a bill authorizing extension of the Keystone XL pipeline into the United States, following the passage in January of an identical bill by the Senate, according to the New York Times.
As Outside wrote in November, supporters of the pipeline believe its economic impact will outweigh its negative effects on the environment and public health, some of which will be worse than previously estimated. The EPA recently sent a letter to the State Department indicating that low oil prices would promote further oil sands production, which would worsen the air and water pollution risks inherent in expanding Keystone XL.
President Obama has pledged to veto such a bill. Lacking a two-thirds majority to override the president’s veto, supporters of Keystone XL in Congress are already looking for ways around it. One strategy Republicans say they are considering involves attaching the pipeline decision to a larger energy or spending bill. One such bill is slated for introduction in the House next week.