Home / Energy / Keystone Pipeline bill passes House, moves to Senate
Stacks of pipe are stored at the pipe yard for the Houston Lateral Project, a component of the Keystone pipeline system in Houston, Texas March 5, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Rick Wilking via NewsCred

Keystone Pipeline bill passes House, moves to Senate

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said earlier this month that he believed the Republican majority would start pushing legislation across the table the following week. That’s why the House passage of the Keystone XL pipeline bill comes as no surprise, although getting it through the Senate and approved by President Barack Obama will remain a challenge.

Considered a Republican-led effort, the House passed the bill Friday to approve the pipeline — the expansion of domestic oil drilling and support for building nuclear power plants in South Carolina.

The pipeline is a 1,179-mile extension of an existing pipeline that would bring additional oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refining facilities near the Gulf of Mexico, according to BBC News.

The vote came through at 266-153, with more than 20 Democratic supporters, including Rep. Jim Clyburn, the representative for the Palmetto State’s sixth district. Though he and Wilson have shown support for the bill, Wilson reminded constituents in a press release that this is the 10th time the House has approved the bill, and that it has fallen in the Senate each time.

Related: Is Keystone still necessary as oil, gasoline prices dip?

“It is my hope that the president will support the priorities of the American people, rather than his own agenda, and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline to create permanent jobs, grow our economy, and promote energy independence,” Wilson wrote.

He added that the project would benefit local jobs including nearly 500 employees of Michelin Tire Corporation in Lexington, which makes the tires that are shipped to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada to be used for oil sand recovery. He also said it would boost MTU America in Graniteville, which produces the engines used for oil sand recovery, representing over 300 jobs in Aiken County.

In total, the project would collectively support 42,100 jobs and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the nation, according to an impact statement from the U.S. Department of the State.

“The Keystone XL Pipeline means hundreds of real jobs right here in South Carolina’s Second Congressional District, where companies like Michelin Tire Corporation in Lexington and MTU America in Graniteville produce the earthmover tires and engines used for Canadian oil sand development,” Wilson added. “Also, the Colonial Pipeline (Company) in North Augusta reduces gas prices for consumers locally.”

Like many times before, the bill will now cross over into the Senate, but Republicans are hoping for a different result now that they are the majority. The Senate will put the bill to vote later this month.


This article was written by Derrek Asberry from Aiken Standard, S.C. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.