GOP gives Dems nine shots at amending Keystone bill

The most important one for Democrats is an amendment from Reps. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), which would eliminate the core reason for the bill, which is to deem the northern leg of the pipeline as approved.

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Another, from Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), would require all oil transported by the pipeline to be used within the United States. Democrats have argued for years that the pipeline would not make the U.S. more energy independent, and instead would allow Canadian oil to be exported abroad.

Two amendments deal with the potential costs of an oil spill. Language from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) would require TransCanada to submit an oil spill response plan to the governors of each state the pipeline crosses.

Reps. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will get debate on language requiring a GAO study on the projected costs of cleanup from a spill.

The Rules Committee also made in order a lone Republican amendment, from Rep. Randy Weber (Texas), that would add language from the State Department saying that Keystone is environmentally safe.

Other Democratic amendments up tomorrow are from:

— Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), adding a finding saying the reliance on oil sands crude would increase greenhouse gas emissions, and preventing the bill from taking effect until these emissions are offset.

— Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), requiring a study on the health impacts of increased air pollution.

— Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), requiring an assessment of how vulnerable the pipeline would be to terrorist attacks, and requiring actions to mitigate those risks.

— Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), aimed at ensuring oversight of the pipeline.

— Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), allowing a one-year period for filing a legal claim under the act, up from 60 days.

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