Third District Congressman Nick Rahall says the bill that would clear the way for an 875-mile section of the Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and Nebraska has been “hijacked.”
“This bill, this year, is born of fancy, not fact,” Congressman Rahall, a Democrat, said of the legislation he voted against on Wednesday night on Capitol Hill. “It’s just another right-wing messaging bill.”
Second District Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito and First District Congressman David McKinley, both Republicans, voted for the bill which the U.S. House approved with a 241-175 vote.
As proposed, it would speed up approval of the northern section of the Keystone pipeline by eliminating the requirement for permit approval from President Barack Obama.
The President says the bill would “circumvent longstanding and proven processes.”
The White House has already approved the pipeline section from Oklahoma to Texas, but has twice stopped progress on the other part of the pipeline because of environmental issues.
The bill is not expected to get any kind of traction in the U.S. Senate.
Congressman Rahall says, many times in the past, he has voted for a different type of Keystone bill and could do so again in the future. “I support the Keystone XL pipeline project,” he said on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”
However, he says a more “reasonable” approach is needed, “(One) that sets time frames and tells the President, State Department, whatever other agencies have to approve this, ‘Here’s the time frame in which you need to get the permit out,'” the Congressman said.
TransCanada, which is based in Calgary, first proposed the $7 billion pipeline in 2008. It would move oil 1,700 miles from the tar sands of western Canada to oil refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
As proposed, it would run through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana to get to refineries in Texas.