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New political journey for Keystone XL

Jan. 26, 2012 at 8:32 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Democrats in the House of Representatives asked for additional time to review a measure by Republicans to push the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Republican leaders proposed a bill that would require the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

The White House recently denied a permit to pipeline company TransCanada, saying it couldn't meet an "arbitrary" deadline inserted into a bill extending payroll tax benefits.

House Democrats called for a review of the legislation.

"We are seeking testimony from other federal agencies because they have permitting obligations that may be affected by this legislation," nine Democratic leaders said in a statement.

Officials in the U.N. Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and the Office of Energy Projects said during congressional testimony that FERC doesn't have the proper authority nor does the Republican measure give the government enough time to review the pipeline.

The White House last year said it review TransCanada's plans after a call to reroute the pipeline came from Nebraskan officials concerned about the project's effect on a key aquifer.

TransCanada said it was moving ahead as planned, noting it would reapply for a permit for the pipeline following a Nebraska review.

The U.S. State Department needs to sign off on the project because it would cross international borders.

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