House of Representatives passes bill approving Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Guardian: “The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline with a resounding majority on Friday, setting the stage for a showdown in the Senate next week.”
“The debate over completion of the controversial pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to refineries in Texas, has become a cause célèbre for the environmental movement and taken centre stage in a still-ongoing Senate race in Louisiana.
Hours before the House passed the bill 252-161 on Friday, Barack Obama, whose approval is required for the pipeline project to go ahead, said he would not be swayed by legislation passed by Congress.
The president has so far given no indication of whether he will approve the project, which is currently tied up in a review by the State Department and related legal challenges. Speaking at a press conference in Burma, he said that process should be allowed to proceed.
“Understand what this project is: it is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on US gas prices,” he added, in some of his most pointed remarks on the topic, first reported by ABC News.
“If my Republican friends really want to focus on what’s good for the American people in terms of job creation and lower energy costs, we should be engaging in a conversation about what are we doing to produce even more homegrown energy? I’m happy to have that conversation.”
The House bill was brought by the Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is in the midst of a campaign to unseat Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat. They will face each other in a runoff election on 6 December after they each failed to reach the 50% threshold required to win their midterm election outright. Both candidates are claiming credit for the current legislative push.
….Landrieu and North Dakota’s Republican senator, John Hoeven, who co-wrote the bill, need to get 60 out of the 100 Senate votes to win passage of their bill. With all Republican senators and at least a dozen Democrats supporting the bill, Landrieu and Hoeven are only one or two votes short of the threshold.
The White House has not said explicitly that Obama would veto the Keystone bill. But his spokesman, Josh Earnest, said the president takes a “dim view” of the legislation.”