U.S. House approves Keystone XL, but White House vows veto

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 1/9/2015

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 266-153 to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline on Friday, Jan. 9. A Senate version of the bill is still waiting on a vote, and President Obama has indicated he will veto the bill once it lands on his desk.

The House vote comes after the Nebraska Supreme Court failed to reach a required majority to declare the pipeline route unconstitutional as landowner plaintiffs challenged in a lawsuit. The state’s high court needed five votes to make the declaration but only got four.

Keystone XL is the proposed fourth phase of a crude-oil pipeline linking the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Neb., by way of Montana and South Dakota. Existing phases of Keystone span 2,900 miles but don’t go through Montana.

Supporters say the XL phase would create jobs, lower energy costs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Environmentalists and opponents cite land-use issues and carbon emissions among their arguments and disagree with claims about energy costs and job creation.

The U.S. State Department says the pipeline would create thousands of temporary jobs but just 35 permanent ones.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that President Obama would veto a Keystone XL bill at this time, pending further federal reviews about whether the pipeline is in the country’s interest.

See related story:
President Obama would veto Keystone XL bill

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