As Congress heads back into session, GOP leaders wasted no time in submitting the latest version of the bill that would approve additional construction on the Keystone pipeline. The bill should come to a vote in the House as early as Friday before heading to the Senate early next week.
With all the controversy surrounding this construction, it has been quite a battle to get to this point. The application for this disputed section of the pipeline was submitted over six years ago and has been approved by the house many times. The difference now is that with a newly elected Republican majority, the bill is expected to easily pass both houses. The White House continues to remain silent about whether President Obama will veto the bill, though he recently shared his skepticism about its value to American consumers.
The construction of this pipeline is crucial to transport the record amounts of oil (830,000 b/d ) being produced in the Bakken region to the refineries on the Gulf Coast. Currently, just under 70% of all the oil produced in North Dakota is transported out of the state by rail. The Keystone XL Pipeline could alleviate some of the rail congestion being caused by the transport of oil, which would free up the rail service in North Dakota and across the midwest for the transport of other goods, primarily agricultural.
Read more at wsj.com