Right now, talks are continuing on a House-Senate conference committee on the surface transportation bill, which provides federal funding, paid for mostly by the gas tax, to highway and mass transit projects across the country. Congress has kicked this bill down the road many times, and the House and Senate versions of the bill vary wildly in size and scope. One of the major differences is that the House bill would force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.
But Nick Rahall, the ranking Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, believes that Keystone will get dropped from the final bill, if one comes to pass.
“My guess is that it would not be in the final product,” said Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), the top Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
The comments are the latest sign that backers of the pipeline will face hurdles winning its inclusion in the bill to reauthorize popular road and infrastructure programs […]
Rahall, who is on the bicameral panel negotiating on the bill, said interest in jobs tied to other portions of the bill will carry the day.
“I mean, putting people to work is much more important right now. I’d say in a majority of states, putting people to work by passing this transportation bill is more job than the Keystone pipeline in their states,” he told reporters.
This isn’t really surprising. House leaders have already intimated that they would be willing to drop the Keystone XL rider in favor of other provisions in the bill.
Read the whole story: FDL