• House Approves Keystone Pipeline (Again)
  • May 28, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This week, by a vote of 241 to 175, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives approved the 1,700 mile long Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline, if constructed, would carry heavy oil from Canadian tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

    This vote marks the seventh time the House has approved the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Obama put the project on hold a year before the 2012 election, saying it needed further review - a move that pleased his environmental supporters.

    President Obama denied a permit for the project requested by Canadian builder TransCanada after Republicans pushed through a bill giving him two months to decide on it. TransCanada has since submitted a new permit application, but despite the seven House votes to approve the project, its status is exactly where it was two years ago: pending a decision from the State Department, which has jurisdiction because the pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canadian border.

    This most recent vote by the House is unlikely to force President Obama’s hand on the issue. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has given no indication that he plans to give the legislation floor time and despite some Democratic support in the Senate, the bill does not have the votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.