US House of Representative passed legislation approving construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Jan 12, 2015 16:16 IST

House of Representatives of the United States on 9 January 2015 passed a legislation that approves construction of a controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The bill was passed by 153 votes in the 266-member House of Representatives. Now the bill will go to the Senate for approval.

The lower house of the US took the decision after Nebraska Supreme Court in its ruling removed a major obstacle that delayed project till now.

The obstacle was over the issue of constitutionality of Governor’s decision to bypass regulatory procedures and approve the pipeline route himself. In 2012, former governor of Nebraska, Dave Heineman had granted TransCanada Corp a pipeline route to cross the State.

In its decision, four judges of the Nebraska court said that the Governors’ decision was unconstitutional but state law required five judges to reach that conclusion. As a result, the deadlock over the issue in the court amounted to ruling in the company's favour.

With the court decision in the favour of the pipeline, it is now supposed that US President Barack Obama will have to sign the controversial bill who so far had refused to sign the bill on the grounds that the case was pending in Nebraska court.

Debate on the Keystone XL oil pipeline

Republicans and some Democrats

Environmentalists and other Democrats

Energy policy experts

They support the pipeline as they feel that the pipeline will create jobs and promote economic growth

They oppose the pipeline because they feel that the process of extracting the oil sands petroleum will create more planet-warming carbon emissions than the process for conventional oil


They say that the practical impact of the project, both on the environment and the economy, is limited

About Keystone XL oil pipeline
The 2000-kilometer Keystone XL oil pipeline would carry 830000 barrels of oil per day from the oil sands of western Canada to the ports and refineries of the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The pipeline will be built by TransCanada Corp. which had submitted its permit application in 2008 to the State Department, which has jurisdiction over Cross-Border Pipelines.


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