House rejects Dem environmental warnings in oil pipeline bill

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) proposed language saying the pipeline risks an oil spill into the Ogallala aquifer, but it was defeated 164-260. Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI) proposed language citing estimates that the carbon dioxide pollution created by the project is equal to 4.5 million additional passenger cars in the U.S., but this too was defeated, by a voice vote.

Another proposal would have added language noting that TransCanada's existing Keystone I pipeline has had 12 spills in the U.S. and 21 in Canada, and that it was shut down by the U.S. for a time due to safety issues. But the House killed this language, from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), in a 155-272 vote.

The House rejected all other substantive amendments from Democrats, and accepted only one from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) adding a sense of Congress that the U.S. should end its dependence on foreign oil from countries that are hostile to the U.S.

With House work on amendments complete, final House passage was expected by 6:30 p.m.

Other amendment results follow:

Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), strike a finding in the bill that says an analysis using EPA models shows the Keystone XL pipeline would result in no change to U.S. or global greenhouse gas emissions. Failed 164-261.

Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), require the Department of Transportation to complete a review on the risks of transporting diluted bitumen in the pipeline. Failed 163-264.

Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), add a finding that consultants paid by Canadian tar sands companies have said that without the pipeline, Canada's tar sands would not be able to be exported overseas, including to China. Failed 152-275.

Rush, extend the deadline for permit decisions to 120 days after a final environmental impact statement, or until January 1, 2012. Failed 161-265.

Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii), require TransCanada to calculate a worst-case spill scenario for the pipeline and show it can response to this scenario. Failed 168-260.

Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), prohibit construction on the pipeline until a study on the health impacts due to increase air pollution is conducted. Failed 163-263.

Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), prohibit approval until it is shown that permitting the pipeline would not lead to the manipulation of oil markets. Failed 164-261.

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