WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Though legislation faces a certain veto, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate scheduled a Thursday vote on a bill in support of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The House of Representatives this week passed legislation meant to expedite the passage of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said any legislation meant to circumvent the normal vetting process would be vetoed by the president.
"We are starting here, in this new Congress, because a final decision on this project is grossly overdue -- and because it will benefit our economy, our national security, and even the environment," she said in a statement Wednesday.
The narrative over the benefits of the project is fluid. Supporters like Murkowski said the pipeline will create thousands of jobs, drive energy prices lower and protect the North American market from overseas oil shocks. Detractors say many of the jobs claims are overblown and argue most of the oil sent through the pipeline from Canada would be designated for exports.
Pipeline company TransCanada submitted a federal application to build the pipeline more than six years ago. The White House said a decision on the pipeline depends in part on a Nebraska court weighing whether the state's governor had the authority to approve the route of Keystone XL through the state. That decision could come as early as Friday.