As expected, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted in favour of approving TransCanada Corp.’s (TSX, NYSE:TRP) controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, hours after President Obama harshly criticized the project, saying it will not impact U.S. gas prices nor will create as many jobs as its supporters claim.
The House, where Republicans have a crushing majority, voted Friday 252-161 on a bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, which is aimed at circumventing the need for Presidential approval.
Obama, who has repeatedly delayed deciding about the US$8 billion project, made clear he sees little value for the country he leads, adding he will veto any effort by Congress to take control of the approval process.
“Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it will be sold everywhere else,” the president said today during a visit to Yangon, Myanmar. “It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”
“If my Republican friends really want to focus on what’s good for the American people in terms of job creation and lower energy costs, we should be engaging in a conversation about what are we doing to produce even more.”
No one knows for certain what Obama will do, but the signs point to his rejection of the bill.
“The administration, as you know, has taken a dim view of these kind of legislative proposals in the past,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday. “I think it’s fair to say that our dim view of these kinds of proposals has not changed.”
This is the ninth time the pipeline, set to carry crude oil from Canada to the Gulf coast in Texas, has been voted on in the House following several environmental reviews and legal challenges to its route and politics.
The Senate is schedule to vote on the same bill next week.
Image via WikiMedia Commons.