In another effort to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas, GOP senators on Wednesday introduced legislation that would bar use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve unless the pipeline is approved, Bloomberg reports.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is seeking a compromise for his legislation mandating approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline and tells The Hill he's open to pairing the bill with other provisions on renewable energy and efficiency.
TransCanada has pushed back the possible startup date of a controversial pipeline that would carry Canadian oil to refineries in Texas.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company said Tuesday in an earnings release that its executives continue to work with Nebraska to determine the best route that avoids Nebraska's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.
Last month, the administration of President Barack Obama denied a permit for the project, but left the door open for TransCanada to apply for a new pipeline route. The company said last month it expected the new application would be processed in an expedited manner so that it could be in service in late 2014.
Keystone XL pipeline hopes remain alive in Canada, with a top official saying he anticipates the controversial TransCanada project, rejected by the Obama administration, will be revived after the U.S. presidential election, Reuters reports.
State Department Deputy Inspector General Howard W. Geisel concluded in a report made public Thursday that the department's environmental review process for the controversial Keystone XL oil sands pipeline was flawed but not improperly influenced by developer TransCanada as opponents had alleged.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., requested an investigation last fall when it became known that the department's environmental impact statement review was prepared by a contractor that had previously worked for TransCanada. Sanders made the findings public on Thursday.
Geisel reported that the department failed to independently verify that the contractor had no conflict of interest, but he concluded there was no actual conflict.
Senate Republicans vowed Thursday to try again to squeeze congressional approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline into transportation legislation.
Senators voted overwhelmingly to bring the two-year, $109 billion transportation reauthorization bill up for debate on the floor, though without the pipeline language sought by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, earlier this week.
"We may add the pipeline, Keystone, to it," Hatch told reporters. "I'd like to get that Keystone thing done. We'll have to see the lay of the land and see what is the 'art of the do-able' there," he added.
Rep. Lee Terry, the Nebraska Republican doggedly trying to get a permit for the Keystone XL oil sand pipeline that would run from Canada through his state to Texas, predicted Tuesday his own bill will go nowhere in the Senate. Within hours, senators started proving him right.
A bid by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah to push Keystone approval language into the Senate's transportation reauthorization bill fell flat in the Senate Finance Committee, at the hands of a stated Keystone XL backer, Chairman Max Baucus of Montana.
And with that, the chances that Republicans will force the project back onto President Barack Obama's desk dimmed. The only other hope in the short term is to attach the legislation to the full-year payroll tax cut holiday extension, which itself is getting caught up in partisan politics.
House Republicans pressed forward Tuesday with their efforts to force the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline from Canada, but the legislation's future remained uncertain after an initial effort to force a similar vote in the Senate failed.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-20 to approve the North American Energy Access Act and send it to the House floor. Just three Democrats _ Reps. John Barrow, D-Ga., Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Mike Ross, D-Ark. _ joined majority Republicans in supporting the legislation.
The committee's passage was expected, as House Republicans have made the proposed $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta to Texas a key plank in their jobs agenda. The bill is to be wrapped into the $260 billion, five-year Republican surface transportation and energy drilling bill that could be brought to a vote on the House floor as early next week.
Some industry leaders are concerned that shifting opinions and increased legislative action on hydraulic fracturing could hinder their chances to develop Colorado's energy resources, Bloomberg reports.
A new report from the Congressional Budget Office said a carbon tax could bring in significant revenues and help reverse climate change at the cost of higher prices and lower incomes, The Hill reports.
The House Appropriations Committee proposed giving $24.3 billion to the subcommittee that finances the Interior Department, EPA and similar agencies, an 18-percent cut from fiscal 2013 levels, E&E News reports.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, called on the Forest Service to drop its plans to withhold funds from rural timber communities.