Efforts to revive the Keystone XL pipeline are underway in Washington.
Congressman Lee Terry, a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, proposes taking the issue away from the president and giving it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Terry’s bill would give FERC 30 days to make a decision on TransCanada’s application for a permit to build Keystone XL, an alternative legislative route if you will.
“There is an alternative, yes,” Terry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “And it will keep the issue alive. The only issue is Harry Reid and the president.”
Terry, a Republican, says Republican House leadership is behind the effort. Whether Senate leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, and President Obama, a Democrat, agree is uncertain.
Terry says he thought there was a 50-50 chance President Obama would approve TransCanada’s president permit application for Keystone XL. The president accepted the State Department recommendation to reject the application, stating there wasn’t enough time to fully evaluate the proposal for a new route in Nebraska to avoid the Sand Hills.
Terry filed the bill last year, but gave way to the Senate when it attached the Keystone issue to a bill extending the Social Security payroll tax cut. The bill gave the president 60 days to make a decision on Keystone. Terry says the timing of the decision was the shock. The president decided well before the February 21st deadline imposed by the legislation.