By Ben Geman and Zack Colman - 07/17/13 10:32 PM EDT
“So really if they want to get this bill passed into law, the way to do it is to attach Keystone because then you know it will go through the House,” he said in the Capitol. “It may pass the Senate without it, but it is certainly not going to get through the House without it.”
The Obama administration is weighing whether to grant TransCanada Corp. a cross-border permit for the pipeline, which would bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.
Hoeven has long pushed legislation to approve the pipeline, but has not decided whether to offer an amendment to the broad efficiency bill, which contains an array of provisions to improve building codes, boost efficiency at industrial plants and othe steps.
He has been negotiating with Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who wants to get the bipartisan efficiency bill across the finish line, on steps that could be taken in lieu of offering a Keystone amendment.
Options include a hearing on Keystone or, according to published reports, seeking to secure a “date certain” from the administration on a permit decision.
Shaheen told reporters Wednesday in the Capitol that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) agreed to bring the bill to the floor the last week of July.
But lawmakers haven't yet worked out a deal on how many or what kind of amendments they'll accept on the bill, she said.
“There's not an agreement on the number of amendments. We're still discussing that, and I wouldn't expect that to happen for a while,” Shaheen said.