Feb 12, 2015 - Congress Approves Bill to Force Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would force the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill easily passed in the Republican dominated House, who receive large financial backing from oil and gas interests, 270-152. Twenty-nine Democrats joined with Republicans in favor of the bill.
Last month, the Republican controlled Senate passed the same bill by a 62-36 margin. The bill now goes to President Obama to either approve the legislation or veto it.
Recently, President Obama promised to veto any bill that would force the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Neither the Senate nor the House appear to have enough votes to override a presidential veto.
Tribes, environmentalist, and others are calling on President Obama to not only keep his promise to veto the bill, but to use his presidential powers to reject the pipeline outright.
According to the Maplight Foundation, who tracks financial contributions to congressional campaigns, members of the House who receive large backing from the oil and gas industries were much more likely to vote in favor of the Keystone XL approval than those who receive less. Their findings show that:
The oil and gas industry gave, on average, 13 times more money to representatives voting ‘YES’ ($45,218) on the KXL bill compared to representatives voting ‘NO’ ($3,549).
The oil and gas industry gave, on average, 5.3 times more money to Democratic representatives voting ‘YES’ ($18,141) on the KXL bill compared to Democratic representatives voting ‘NO’ ($3,444).