President Barack Obama will not be bringing up the Keystone XL Pipeline in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, but Texas Republican Congressman Ted Poe is intent on keeping the controversial oil pipeline project in the news and circumventing the administration’s denial of a permit to build it.
Tuesday, the Texas congressman introduced the “Keystone For A Secure Tomorrow Act” (K-FAST) to allow the 112th Congress to “directly and immediately” approve the Keystone XL Pipeline permit for TransCanada Corporation.
According to Poe, the approval of the pipeline is within Congress’ authority. In 1973, Poe noted, Congress passed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act to allow construction of the 800-mile-long north–south pipeline from frozen Prudhoe Bay to the ice-free port of Valdez.
The Keystone XL project, if authorized, would start in Canada and end up in Port Arthur, TX — part of Poe’s district. Poe estimates that he represents more refineries than any other representative in Congress.
“My bill would authorize the construction of the pipeline — except for the new route that has not been determined yet, that small route in Nebraska, that would still have to go through the normal channels. The rest of it would be authorized immediately,” Poe told The Daily Caller, adding that since Keystone is in “the national interest” Congress has the authority to pass the legislation.
Poe’s bill adds to proposals from other Republicans attempting to get around the Obama administration’s permit denial.
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