State: 'Serious' Questions On GOP Pipeline Bill


Salon Staff
January 25, 2012 7:00PM (UTC)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says a Republican bill that would strip President Barack Obama of his authority to decide on a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline raises "serious" legal questions.

A top State Department official told Congress Wednesday that the bill "imposes narrow time constraints and creates automatic mandates that prevent an informed decision" on the Keystone XL pipeline.

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The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., would transfer authority over the 1,700-mile pipeline to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Obama blocked the $7 billion pipeline last week, saying officials did not have enough time to review an alternate route that avoided environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.

The plan by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. would carry tar sands oil from western Canada across six U.S. states to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

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