US Senate Passes Keystone XL project
After weeks of debate and discussion, a bill to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has been passed in the US Senate. Now, the bill would be sent to President Barack Obama for a likely veto.
Earlier, the White House announced that Mr. Obama will veto the bill. The 875-mile pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the US state of Nebraska and from there in pipes running to Texas.
Congress would require two-thirds of each chamber of Congress to beat a presidential veto. As per Republicans and other supporters, the project would create many jobs. But such is not the thinking of many Democrats and environmentalists, who warned that the pipeline would increase the levels of carbon emissions and add to global warming.
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell termed the bill to be 'an important accomplishment for the country'. "We are hoping the president upon reflection will agree to sign on to a bill that the State Department said could create up to 42,000 jobs and the State Department said creates little to no impact on the environment", affirmed McConnell.
But for Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, the bill is 'a disgrace'. Mr. Obama has remained critical of the pipeline. At the end of 2014, he said that the pipeline would majorly benefit Canadian oil firms and would not contribute much to already dropping petrol prices.
A state department is also involved in the matter as the pipeline would cross an international border. As per a State Department report, no major environmental objections were raised, but the final decision has been postponed due to a court battle over the project in Nebraska.
The pipeline aims to take some 830,000 barrels of heavy crude a day from the fields in Alberta to Nebraska. Then the oil would be transported to existing pipes to refineries in Texas.
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