U.S. House of Representatives and TransCanada Corp try to force the continuance of the Keystone pipeline.
"The House of Representatives approved a bill as expected on Wednesday declaring that a presidential permit was not needed to approve the Canada-to-Nebraska leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move that would take a decision on the project away from the Obama administration.
The Republican-controlled House voted 241-175, with less support from Democrats than during the most recent attempt to speed up pipeline approval.
The bill faces an uphill battle because it would have to pass the Senate with enough votes to overcome a promised veto from President Barack Obama.
TransCanada pipeline would link Alberta’s oil sands production with refineries and ports along the U.S. Gulf Coast. The pipeline would transport about 830,000 barrels per day and cost some $5.3 billion to construct.
The Alberta-to-Nebraska leg needs presidential approval because it crosses a national border. It has been pending with the administration since 2008 and is now undergoing a second round of review by the State Department.
The pipeline’s southern leg, for Texas to Oklahoma, is more than halfway built.
The project has been hailed by the energy industry as part of the U.S. push toward energy independence. It is also supported by many unions because it would provide thousands of construction jobs.
Environmentalists have vociferously opposed the pipeline, saying it would raise greenhouse gas levels and lock the United States into long-term dependence on fossil fuels.”