The House of Representatives has just passed a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline which is to run from the oil sands in Canada down to the Gulf of Mexico. Having passed in the House, the bill is scheduled to hit the Senate floor on Tuesday. Bill sponsor, Mary Landrieu has said that she believes she has the 60 necessary votes to get the bill passed, although indications are that she is actually one, or possibly two, votes shy of that number. It may be a moot point if President Obama vetoes the bill, as he has threatened to do in the past on any Keystone legislation.
The President said after the bill had passed the House of Representatives that his position had not changed on the Keystone issue, though he stopped short of saying that he would veto the legislation. He did say that it was difficult to evaluate the merits of the pipeline without specifics on where it would actually be built. The pipeline is one of the priorities that Republicans put on the table almost immediately after the elections which gave them a majority in the Senate. It presents the possibility of creating many new jobs, but also raises possible environmental concerns which make it likely that this will be a stage for ongoing debate for some time.
By Jim Malone