By Stephen Dinan-The Washington Times
Seeking to a stronger negotiating position, House Republicans said Friday they will demand any eventual long-term federal highway funding bill also include approval of the massive Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project.
The move will once again put pressure on Senate Democrats and President Obama, who earlier this year blocked the project after Congress set a deadline for him to make a decision.
â€œThe House will insist that the Keystone XL legislation be included as part of the package,â€ the Energy and Commerce Committee said in a press release Friday, laying out leadersâ€™ plans to force another confrontation with the president.
Keystone would bring oil from Canadaâ€™s tar sands into the U.S., and has strong support from both business and labor groups, but has been strongly opposed by leading environmentalist groups.
The project hit a snag late last year when the Obama administrationâ€™s State Department, which has a say because the pipeline crosses international boundaries, delayed final approval until after the 2012 election, citing concerns the route would affect sensitive Midwestern ecosystems.
As part of a late-session tax-cut deal Congress voted to impose a hard-and-fast deadline for making a final decision. Mr. Obama said it gave him too little time, so he denied the pipeline application.
To read more, visit: Â http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/13/house-gop-tie-oil-pipeline-highway-bill/
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