Friday, December 9, 2011

Lawmakers consider ways to expedite Keystone XL pipeline construction

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing on the Keystone XL Pipeline on Dec. 2.

Lawmakers reviewed alternatives to expedite construction approval. Labor union and oil production company representatives testified.

The 1,700-mile, $7-billion pipeline would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

Jane Kleeb, executive director of the anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska, testified along with Alex Pourbaix, president of the TransCanada pipeline company.

A group of Senate Republicans recently unveiled legislation to move forward on the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who co-authored the bill with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), said on Nov. 30 that it was time to "pursue domestic energy alternatives and reduce the need for foreign oil."

The plan would require a State Department permit to allow the pipeline project to move ahead within 60 days, unless President Obama determines that doing so not in the national interest.

Obama said he would veto any legislation aimed at expediting the Keystone XL approval.

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