By TONI ELLINGTON
As the 114th Congress convenes this week, approving the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to be a key issue of consideration. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has scheduled a hearing for January 7, 2015, on legislation to approve the proposed pipeline.
On November 18, 2014, supporters of the pipeline project in the Senate could not get enough votes for the measure to ensure success. The House of Representatives had voted to approve construction of the pipeline. The roll call vote in the Senate was 59 to 41. A vote of 60 for the measure in the Senate would have been enough to override a possible veto from President Obama. President Obama has said that he will not make a decision on approval of the pipeline until courts in Nebraska resolve lawsuits over the pipeline’s proposed route across the state.
House Speaker John Boehner and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have said that authorizing construction of the Keystone Pipeline will be a priority in this legislative session.
The Keystone Pipeline, if constructed, will stretch nearly 1,700 miles and deliver 830,000 barrels of crude daily from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska, where it will connect with existing pipelines to deliver the oil to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
For additional updates, stay tuned to this blog, or contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500