Repubs, Dems push for end-run around Pres. Obama on Keystone XL - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Repubs, Dems in Congress push for automatic approval of Keystone XL

Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan says President Barack Obama is stalling on a decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan says President Barack Obama is stalling on a decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing for legislation in Congress that would automatically approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Measures that have been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate would be an "end-run" around President Barack Obama's decision on the project and override any pending environmental studies.

Republican Representative Lee Terry of Nebraska introduced the bill in the house. 17-hundred mile pipeline would pass through his state as it carries tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas.

The U.S. State Department released a report earlier this month saying it found no environmental concerns with the project, after the pipeline was re-routed around the Nebraska Sandhills.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama told House Republicans he's still weighing a decision on whether to approve the project.

Supporters of the pipeline say the president is stalling.

"Well here we are, 20,000 direct jobs, more than a 100,000 indirect, something that really helps with energy independence and every American family's struggling in an economy that is not where none of us wanted to be, and we can't get it done yet. That's what this bill does. It provides that hope and relief um, and hopefully a big vote in the House will help the Senate bring this to the floor and get it done," said Republican Representative Fred Upton of Michigan.

Montana Democrat Max Baucus is among the bill's sponsors in the Senate. The legislation removes any need for a presidential permit and assumes all environmental reviews are completed.

The measure is similar to the one that approved the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, which superceded any legal barriers.

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