Congressional Republicans are in a new effort to push through the Keystone XL after a key ruling on the pipeline’s route. On Friday, the Nebraska Supreme Court rejected a case challenging the pipeline’s approval process, effectively allowing the Keystone XL to run through the state. The ruling does leave open future challenges. But it also undermines a key factor cited by President Obama for his repeated delay of a decision on the pipeline’s approval or rejection. Also Friday, the Republican-controlled House passed a measure approving Keystone’s construction for the tenth time. Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio mocked Republicans’ focus on the pipeline’s approval.
Rep. Peter DeFazio: “It’s fine to say, ‘Gee, we voted on this a lot of times before.’ Sixty-one new members of the House. Gas prices are down by almost 50 percent. A lot of things have changed. I would even wonder about the viability of this project. I did just recently learn the Koch brothers, though, have a significant investment in tar sands in Canada, but that probably has nothing to do with an attempt to expedite this project.”
Although he has yet to make a final decision on Keystone XL, President Obama has promised to veto Republican-backed attempts to approve it through Congress. The House vote fell short of a veto-proof majority. Senate Republicans will begin debate on their version of the Keystone XL approval bill today.