By Ben Geman - 10/23/13 02:37 PM EDT
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), speaking at the same event, said he is not hopeful that the White House will green-light the project. Obama faces heavy pressure from green groups to block Keystone.
“I don’t think that the president is going to approve the Keystone pipeline. I hope that I am wrong,” said Whitfield, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Energy and Power.
The GOP-led House has passed bills to approve the project, but they have not advanced in the Senate.
Whitfield and Terry spoke at an event on U.S.-Canada energy ties hosted by the embassy, an industry group called the Consumer Energy Alliance, TransCanada and other groups.
Terry told reporters on the sidelines of the event that he will urge inclusion of Keystone in a budget deal that a House-Senate negotiating committee would try and reach.
“I do plan to have discussions with our leadership about what they feel could be done in this conference,” Terry said on the sidelines of the event.
GOP Keystone backers in the House briefly used the recent battle over the debt ceiling to push the project, but the effort fell by the wayside.
Asked if Keystone is likely to be included in the next debt-ceiling or government funding agreements, which lawmakers must reach early next year, Terry acknowledged difficulties getting the pipeline into a deal.
“It is always going to be out there. So as long as it is hovering above everything, I am going to be the one that tries to bring it down into the discussions,” he said. “Maybe there will be an opportunity; maybe there won’t.”
— This post was updated at 11:03 a.m.