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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Senate passes bill authorizing construction of Keystone XL pipeline

By a 62-to-36 vote, the U.S. Senate yesterday passed a measure approving the Keystone XL pipeline project.

S. 1 authorizes TransCanada to construct and operate the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast based on Congress’s authority under the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause. The pipeline would transport an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to the refineries, including 100,000 barrels from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana. The bill was introduced Jan. 6 by U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

The Obama administration has delayed the pipeline project for more than six years, said Hoeven in a prepared statement. Despite a series of environmental reviews, all of which conclude that the project will have no significant environmental impacts, the president has repeatedly postponed a decision, he said.

"Both the U.S. Senate and House have now passed legislation approving the Keystone XL project, and the American people have repeatedly expressed their support for it," said Hoeven. "This is about energy, jobs, economic activity, national security and building the right kind of infrastructure we need to achieve all of these things. I encourage the president to sign this legislation and work with us not only to build this vital infrastructure project, but also to help us develop a true comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy plan for our nation."

President Obama has indicated he would veto a Keystone XL pipeline bill if it reaches his desk.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/30/2015