Wednesday, August 3, 2011

White House dismisses need for bill to accelerate decision on Keystone XL pipeline

A bill that would require the federal government to speed up its decision on TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline is "unnecessary" and would only affect efforts to evaluate the project, according to the White House.

"(T)he bill conflicts with long-standing Executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the President and the Secretary of State, and could prevent the thorough consideration of complex issues which could have serious security, safety, environmental, and other ramifications," the White House said in a statement of administration policy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it supports legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would require the federal government's decision on TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline by Nov. 1. "Canada is a secure and reliable source of affordable energy, and the Keystone XL pipeline project provides the U.S. with a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of a stable source of needed energy from a strategic ally," said R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the chamber.

The House bill is unlikely to survive a vote in the U.S. Senate.

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