House members walk down the steps outside the US Capitol after voting on the Keystone XL Pipeline earlier today. The Republican-led House voted to approve legislation to authorize construction of the controversial pipeline. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Keystone Pipeline Passes One US Legislative Hurdle

Nov. 14, 2014
The House approves construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada, but the measure could still find itself blocked in the Senate.

WASHINGTON -- The US House of Representatives on Friday approved construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada, but the measure could still find itself blocked in the Senate.

The project, which would bring oil from tar sands in Alberta province to US refineries, passed the Republican-controlled House by 252 votes to 161, with 31 Democrats supporting the measure.

Keystone's progress is closely monitored in Canada, where government officials and builder TransCanada have said the project would provide an economic boon.

It is the ninth time the House has passed pro-Keystone legislation, but the pipeline faces resistance in the Senate, where Democrats will retain a majority until the new Congress in January.

But after last week's midterm election drubbing suffered by Democrats, Reid allowed a Keystone vote in his chamber as early as next Tuesday.

The GOP claims that once the new Congress convenes in January, it will have sufficient Keystone support to reach a 60-vote Senate threshold and overcome blocking tactics.

It remains unclear whether enough Democrats will side with the current Senate's 45 Republicans to ram the measure through next week.

By Michael Mathes

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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