Monday, January 12, 2015

House approves Keystone XL Pipeline; Nebraska Supreme Court rules to let pipeline through state

The House passed the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline bill on Friday by a vote of 266 to 153, with only 28 Democrats voting in favor of the bill that President Obama has said he will veto if it passes the Senate, which it is expected to do, Sean Cockerham reports for McClatchy Newspapers. Senate Republicans said last week that they are four votes shy of overcoming a veto.

The House's passage of the bill was aided by a Nebraska Supreme Court decision on Friday to decline "to support challenges to a state law that allows the governor to bypass the state Public Service Commission and approve the pipeline’s route through Nebraska," Cockerham writes. In 2013, Nebraska Republican Gov. Dave Heineman endorsed legislation to allow the pipeline to cross part of the state, but a district judge ruled in February 2014 that that was violation of the state constitution.

"The White House said the president is waiting for a final State Department ruling on whether Keystone is in the national interest before deciding whether it should go forward," Cockerham writes.

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