Dems seek floor battle over Keystone pipeline exports, court review

Pipeline backers say the export claims have been greatly exaggerated. And, they say, exporting some products refined in the U.S. with oil from Keystone would still boost the U.S. economy.

Holt’s export ban amendment is one of several submitted thus far to the House Rules Committee, which will meet late Tuesday afternoon to decide which amendments will receive votes on the floor the next day. They're available here.

The underlying GOP-led bill would approve construction of TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline, a project to bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands projects across the border en route to Gulf Coast refineries.

Another proposed amendment, submitted by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), would strike a section of the bill that places certain restrictions on court challenges to the pipeline.

And a separate amendment from Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) requires that prior to the pipeline approval taking effect, TransCanada must “disclose its campaign contributions and other electioneering expenditures over the previous five years to the public,” a summary states.

The Obama administration is weighing whether to approve Keystone.

While the House bill to take the decision out of President Obama’s hands is unlikely to become law, its looming passage will be a political rallying point for pipeline backers.

Republicans, some Democrats, industry groups and many labor unions support Keystone, while environmentalists and liberal Democrats oppose the project.