By Ben Geman - 05/07/12 08:39 PM EDT
The House-approved transportation bill includes approval of TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, while the Senate version of the legislation omits the provision.
“As you commence your work on maintaining vital American transportation investments, Business Roundtable urges you to vote ‘Yes’ on the provision included in the House-passed version of the transportation bill that would expedite approval of the Keystone XL pipeline extension,” states the letter, which argues that project has undergone “exhaustive” review and would increase energy security and create jobs.
The letter shows that major business groups plan to continue pushing for Keystone despite facing hurdles.
Democrats outnumber Republicans eight-six among the Senate negotiators. Among those Democrats, only Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) has voted in favor of including Keystone in the bill, but he has signaled that he’s unlikely to insist on the provision.
Environmentalists bitterly oppose the pipeline due to greenhouse gas emissions from extracting and burning oil sands, forest damage from the massive projects in Alberta, Canada, and fears of spills along the pipeline route.