Wednesday, January 25, 2012

House Bill Seeks To Resurrect Keystone XL Pipeline

Lee Terry
The legislation, which Representative Lee Terry (R-Neb.) has introduced legislation in the House that, “imposes narrow time constraints and creates automatic mandates that prevent an informed decision.” Terry's legislation would put the final verdict on the pipeline into the hands of the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), not the State Department. The bill instructs FERC to issue a permit and limits its discretion to reject the project.

House GOP leadership is weighing attaching the bill to upcoming legislation to extend the payroll tax cut for the rest of the year in an effort to overturn Obama’s decision last week to reject the pipeline.

Opponents of the bill, particularly the State Department, believe the legislation:
Raises serious questions about existing legal authorities,

Questions the continuing force of much of the federal and all of the state and local environmental and land use management authority over the pipeline, and

Overrides foreign policy and national security considerations implicated by a cross border permit, which are properly assessed by the State Department.
President Obama rejected the pipeline under a GOP-backed provision in a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut that mandated a decision within 60 days. (Politico, 1/25/2012)

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