x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Republicans pledge to fight on for Canada to Texas Keystone pipeline

Opposition bid to override Barack Obama's rejection of major oil project.

WASHINGTON // Republicans in the US House of Representatives said they planned to introduce a bill to advance TransCanada's Keystone XL oil pipeline to try to override President Barack Obama's rejection of the multibillion dollar project.

The Republican House leader, John Boehner, said "all options are on the table" to draw up a bill to fight for the US$7 billion (Dh25.69bn) pipeline, which Republicans said would create thousands of jobs and bolster the economic recovery.

House Republicans have not yet decided what kind of legislation they will push for, said Lee Terry, a Republican from Nebraska who supports the Canada-to-Texas pipeline.

In November, Mr Terry put forward a bill that would give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to approve Keystone XL, an option that he said will be a "focal point" for House Republicans.

House Republicans likely will make up their minds on a strategy after a House Energy and Commerce hearing due on Wednesday, where Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, has been invited to testify about Keystone, Mr Terry said.

Mr Obama blamed his Republican opponents for imposing an "arbitrary" deadline on his review of TransCanada Corp's plan to build the pipeline, which led to its rejection.

Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, said he was "profoundly disappointed" by the decision.

"The president explained that the decision was not a decision on the merits of the project and that it was without prejudice, meaning that TransCanada is free to reapply," according to a statement from Mr Harper's office. "prime minister Harper expressed his profound disappointment with the news."

* With additional reporting by Agence France-Presse