The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Thursday to approve the long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite the White House saying earlier in the day that President Barack Obama would veto the measure.
U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Congress to expand protection of Alaska's Arctic refuge where oil and gas drilling is prohibited to 12 million acres (5 million hectares), an area that includes 1.4 million oil-rich acres along the coast.
The Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared two hurdles on Friday, setting up a showdown between Congress and President Barack Obama who has raised new questions about the project after more than six years of review.
The White House said on Monday that U.S. President Barack Obama believes the proposed Keystone XL (TRP.TO) pipeline would have little impact on U.S. gas prices but a spokesman would not say whether he would veto Republican legislation related to the project.
The head of the Senate energy committee plans to introduce a bill next week to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, though the full chamber faces a battle in obtaining needed votes to overcome any veto by President Barack Obama.
Backers of the Keystone XL oil pipeline hope a vote in the U.S. Senate late on Tuesday will send a bill to the desk of President Barack Obama.
The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, but a similar measure struggled to get enough support in the Senate and President Barack Obama indicated he might use his veto if the bill does get through Congress.
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