On Thursday the House passed legislation that would take control of the Keystone pipeline from President Obama who caved to demands of environmentalists and has kept the bill on hold. The Republicans have made the bill a part of their effort to fund the highways and infrastructure project. In addition, the bill would open drilling to parts of the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.
While the bill passed the Republican controlled house, its fate in the Democrat controlled Senate remains uncertain.
As Senate leaders were still negotiating whether or not to allow a vote on Keystone Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, a key supporter of the $7 billion oil project, told Reuters, “I think on the merits we’re going to get it done. I don’t know when. I hope in the highway bill, but if not, we’ll stick with it.” Hoeven was the developer of legislation to give Congress the ability to grant TransCanada a permit for the project.
Republicans are capitalizing on soaring gas prices and a horrid economy to push the Keystone pipeline project. They argue it will create thousands of jobs and put the United States on a path toward energy independence from middle eastern nations.