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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate by a 62 to 36 vote Thursday authorized the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
As CSNews Online reported on Jan. 9, the measure also passed the U.S. House of Representatives, leaving only one action to take before it becomes law. President Barack Obama must sign off on the 1,179-mile oil pipeline when it reaches his desk, perhaps as early as next week.
However, according to several statements from the Obama Administration, the president is sure to veto the bill. Obama even alluded to the Keystone XL Pipeline during his State of the Union Address on Jan. 20.
“21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure ," Obama said. "Modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and fastest Internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline.”
Obama has the right to approve or deny the permitting of the pipeline because it crosses an international border. The creation of too few new U.S. jobs, no benefit to U.S. oil prices at the pump and the possibility of worsening climate change were three reasons cited by Obama for opposing the bill.
As for Thursday's Senate vote, 53 Republican Senators voted to approve the pipeline, joined by nine Democrats and one Independent.
The House of Representative voted 266-153 to approve the bill earlier this month.