WASHINGTON (AP) – The Republican-controlled Congress is set to send a bill approving the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto it.
The House is expected to pass the bill easily Wednesday afternoon, capping weeks of debate over one of Republicans’ top priorities – a bill authorsing the construction of the much-delayed pipeline. Yet support in both the Senate and House has not been enough to override a presidential veto.
The pipeline would carry oil extracted from Canada’s tar sands to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
The pipeline has exposed larger divisions between environmentalists concerned about global warming and potential oil spills against supporters who argue that the $8 billion project will create jobs and boost US energy security. One of the measures added to the bill by the Senate states that climate change is not a hoax, which could make some conservative Republicans think twice.
The pipeline is the first of many standoffs expected between Obama and Republicans on energy and environment.
As the House prepared to vote on the bill, the Senate environment panel on Wednesday planned to hold its first hearing examining the Obama administration’s plans to curb heat-trapping carbon dioxide from power plants. The initiative is the cornerstone of Obama’s efforts to curb global warming.
The House is expected to unveil a larger energy bill next week.