U.S. Senate committee easily approves Keystone bill


WASHINGTON – A U.S. Senate committee voted 13 to 9 Thursday to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline despite President Barack Obama’s promise to veto it.

The bill now goes to the Senate floor where it will be debated next week. The House has scheduled a debate on its bill for Friday.

The vote followed a morning of calm discussion during which lawmakers re-stated the central issues that have defined this debate for more than six years, namely climate change and U.S. energy security.

Democrats said a vote against the pipeline would send a powerful message to the world that the United States is serious about reducing its greenhouse gas emissions while Republicans argued that the project is needed to secure America’s energy future and keep oil prices low while it transitions to cleaner energy sources.

A small minority of Democrats supports the bill and Republicans hope they can…

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