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Keystone sails past senate, presidential veto looms

Today, The United States Senate passed the most current Keystone XL pipeline legislation. In a press release, API President and CEO Jack Gerard said the Senate’s strong bipartisan passage of legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline shows Congress can find common ground and follow the will of the American people. Now, it’s the president’s turn to show he’s ready to lead on energy issues.

Republicans and Democrats alike on Capitol Hill are speaking in one clear voice saying it’s time to build KXL,” said Gerard. “This is one of the most bipartisan bills we have seen in recent history. We hope the president will seize this opportunity to work collaboratively with Congress to advance sound energy policy while creating thousands of jobs.

The legislation still has to make it past the President’s desk. Barack Obama has reiterated time and time again that he would veto any current Keystone bill moving through Congress if the project would significantly add to greenhouse gas emissions or create an unnecessary environmental hazard.

Gerard commented, “We cannot afford to veto 42,000 good paying American jobs because of politics as usual. We urge the president to make the right decision and approve KXL because it is in this nation’s best interest.

We agree with the president that our sights should be higher than a single pipeline. But if we can’t make a decision on a single pipeline, how can we expect to ever convince the market we can accomplish comprehensive infrastructure improvement? Indecision has consequences. The fact is that if all other infrastructure projects are delayed like Keystone XL, we are years away from approving anything that could create jobs and enhance our energy security.”

After weeks of debate on 41 amendments to the legislation, the Senate voted 62-36 to pass a bill approving the pipeline for transporting Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico. However, the supporting number of 62 is short of the 67 total that would be needed to override a presidential veto. Since the bill has been amended, the Senate and House will have to agree on a final form of the bill prior to sending it for presidential approval.