WASHINGTON — House Republicans pushed through a bill Wednesday to bypass the president to speed approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. Democrats criticized the legislation as a blatant attempt to allow a foreign company to avoid environmental review.
The bill was approved, 241-175, largely along party lines.
Republicans said the measure was needed to ensure that the long-delayed pipeline, first proposed in 2008, is built.
“This is the most studied pipeline in the history of mankind,” said Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., the bill’s sponsor.
“When is enough enough?” added Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif. “Five years? Six years? Ten years?”
But Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., called the bill a “reckless attempt to avoid environmental review.” The bill would deem the project approved without a presidential permit, as required under current law, and with no further environmental review. The legislation also would limit legal challenges to the project.
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