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The Keystone XL Pipeline: Wicker, Cochran Vote Yes, President Likely to Veto

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Keystone XL Pipeline has now been effectively approved by both the U.S. House and Senate. Mississippi’s senators, Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, both Republicans, voted yes Thursday on the bill that would hurry the permit for its construction.

President Obama has promised to veto the legislation and the Senate may not have the votes to overturn a presidential veto.

Some see the project as an example of the type of boost that could help job creation. Pres. Obama has repeatedly stated that he is concerned about the environmental impact the project could have as it pumps oil from Alberta’s oil fields to the Gulf.

The vote was 62-36, with nine Democrats voting yes.

“The Keystone XL project represents an opportunity for greater job creation and energy security.  It has been delayed for too long.  The bipartisan Senate vote, combined with strong support in the House, indicates how interested the new Congress is in passing legislation that clears the way for greater economic growth,” said Cochran, who was an original co-sponsor of the Keystone Pipeline Act.

“The new Republican majority has followed through with its commitments to an open amendment process and delivering on the Keystone pipeline,” said Wicker.  “This bipartisan bill has cleared a major hurdle.  It is time to get this bill to the President’s desk and begin work on this job-creating infrastructure project.”

More than 830,000 barrels of oil a day could come through the pipeline. Both senators said that more than 42,000 jobs could be created or supported with the construction and operation of the pipeline.

The bill now goes to a conference committee to work out the differences between the Senate and the House versions of the bill.

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