The Congressional scoreboard reads 5-2 in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. But few believe the job-creating project to transport oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast is any closer to its needed U.S. approval.
The House passed (293-127) a federal transportation bill Wednesday that will now go to conference committee. A provision in that legislation would force the administration to approve the pipeline.
It is the fourth time the House has given its approval on the project, expected to create thousands of jobs during the construction phase and help increase energy security in the long term. The Senate has taken three votes, passing it once as part of the payroll tax deal late last year and defeating it twice.
Not to be forgotten is the importance of the transportation bill. The Senate passed a two-year, $109 billion program two weeks ago. It is expected to be the basis for the conference committee negotiations.
The White House has already threatened to veto the highway bill if the Keystone language remains. Both, however, are critical to funding ongoing infrastructure needs and putting people back to work.
In the upcoming BizVoice magazine (available May 3 in print and online), I’ll have a one-on-one interview with Canadian Consul General Roy Norton, who talks about the importance of this project, the critical Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, and other opportunities between the two North American neighbors.