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NEWS: Republicans seek decision on Keystone pipeline by Nov. 1

Reuters reports, “A Congressional panel approved legislation on Wednesday aimed at speeding permitting for a proposed $7 billion pipeline project that would transport Canadian oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf coast. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee green lighted a bill that would force the Obama administration to make a decision on TransCanada’s planned Keystone XL pipeline by November 1.”

“Lawmakers on the Republican-controlled panel accused the Obama administration of needlessly stonewalling this project, which they say would increase U.S. energy security. …(But) the bill still has a long way before it actually becomes law and will likely face an uphill battle with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House. …Democrats on the House panel said the ‘arbitrary’ deadline set by the bill would limit public input and may curtail the involvement of other government agencies in evaluating the project. They also pointed out that the State Department has already pledged to make a decision on the project before the end of the year. The panel rejected an amendment from (a Democratic congressman) that would have set a deadline for a decision on the project in January 2012.”

The National Energy Board of Canada approved the construction of the Canadian section of the pipeline in September 2007. The Calgary Herald reported earlier this year that, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a personal pitch (on February 4) for President Barack Obama to support (the) pipeline that could double the amount of Alberta oil sands crude exported to the United States (at the time they met to announce plans for a new security perimeter). Harper confirmed he pressed Obama on Calgary-based TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline during the two leaders’ hour-long meeting at the White House.”

To read about Council of Canadians opposition to the pipeline, please go to http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=8170.