Senate ratifies bill approving Keystone Pipeline, moves on to Obama for veto

By Steven Viera II News Editor

      Last Thursday, the U.S. Senate voted 62-36 to approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The bill has already passed a vote in the House of Representatives and now moves on to President Barack Obama, who has vowed to veto it. If Obama vetoes the bill, two-thirds of Congress will be required to overturn him and sign the bill into law anyway.

     According to the article “Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline” published by U.S. News & World Report, the proposed pipeline would carry crude oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska, where it would join existing pipelines that run to refineries and centers of distribution in Texas. Because Keystone XL would cross an international border, the estimated $5.4 billion project requires federal approval.

     The bill has been mired in controversy since its inception in 2008. According the article “Keystone XL project approved by US Congress” published by the BBC, Republicans and their supporters favor the bill due to its potential to create new jobs, while Democrats and environmentalists oppose it because it will likely lead to increased carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

     Opponents of the bill argue that the pipeline will create as few as 35 permanent jobs, according to the article “Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline,” while supporters point to a report by the State Department, which concluded that the pipeline would not be a major detriment to the environment.

     Nine Democratic senators voted in favor of the bill — John Hoeven, N.D.; Michael Bennet, CO; Bob Casey, PA; Joe Donnelly, IN; Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.; Joe Manchin, WV; Claire Mc-Caskill, MO; Jon Tester, MT; Mark Warner, VA; and Tom Carper, DE, according to “Senate Approves Keystone XL Pipeline.”

      The pipeline is estimated to carry over 800,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis, and would be constructed by U.S. TransCanada, an international company.

Junior Steven Viera is the Managing Editor. His email is sviera@fandm.edu.

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