GovTrack’s Bill Summary
We don’t have a summary available yet.
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/113/1/hr3.
In September of 2008, Canadian pipeline company TransCanada filed an application with the U.S. Department of State to construct the Keystone XL pipeline across the United States-Canada border. As originally proposed, the 1700-mile pipeline was intended to transport oil from the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada to Midwest and Gulf Coast refineries. Although Federal agencies generally have no authority to site oil pipelines, a Presidential Permit is required for pipelines connecting the United States with a foreign country. Executive Order 13337 delegates to the Secretary of State the President’s authority to make decisions regarding Presidential Permit applications.
The issuance of a Presidential Permit is dependent upon a determination that the proposed project would serve the “national interest,” taking into account a number of factors including the environmental impact of the project, the economic benefits the project would bring to the United States, and the impact the project would have on broader foreign policy objectives. In addition to soliciting feedback from the public, the State Department is required to consult with relevant state and federal agencies in making its national interest determination.
In addition, NEPA generally requires federal agencies to conduct an EIS to analyze the environmental impacts of major federal actions that will significantly affect the environment. The State Department was required to conduct this analysis for Keystone XL, and completed the lengthy environmental review in August of 2011, issuing a final EIS that found that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts during construction and operation. Construction of the pipeline was the “agency preferred alternative” among the options studied, including 14 major route alternatives and the option not to move forward with the project. The EIS also noted the establishment of 57 project-specific safety standards for the pipeline, in addition to those required by law.
Despite these findings, President Obama announced in November of 2011 that a decision on Keystone XL would not be issued until 2013. In response, legislation was enacted requiring the issuance of a permit for the project within 60 days, unless the President determined that the project was not in the national interest. In January of 2012, President Obama denied the Presidential Permit request, requiring TransCanada to begin its application process anew.
TransCanada reapplied with the State Department in May of 2012, triggering a new national interest determination and NEPA review process. The new application was for 875 miles of pipeline, as TransCanada in the meantime had begun construction on a portion of the originally proposed pipeline solely within the United States that did not require a Presidential Permit. The new application also contained a reroute of the pipeline, avoiding environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska. Despite the Administration’s lengthy review of the full Keystone XL pipeline and its ultimate rejection of the project, President Obama in March of 2012 endorsed the southern leg of the pipeline, saying the Administration would “cut through the red tape” to make the project a priority.
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman approved the proposed reroute of the pipeline through the state in January of 2013. In addition, the State Department issued a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in March of 2013, finding once again that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impact. Neither the State Department nor the President has issued a decision on whether to grant the President Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
 Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues, Congressional Research Service, Jan. 24, 2013 at 6.
 Id. at 7.
 U.S. Department of State, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Keystone XL Project, Executive Summary, Aug. 26, 2011 at ES-14 (available at http://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/documents/organization/181185.pdf).
 Id. at ES-6.
 Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues, Congressional Research Service, Jan. 24, 2013 at 4.
 See Remarks by the President on American-Made Energy, Mar. 22, 2012 at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/22/remarks-president-american-made-energy.
H.R. 3 approves construction of the Keystone XL pipeline by removing the requirement for a Presidential Permit, granting the additional Federal permits required for the project, and limiting the legal challenges that can be brought regarding the pipeline’s construction.
H.R. 3 deems the final environmental impact statement (EIS) issued by the Secretary of State on August 26, 2011 and the Final Evaluation Report issued by the state of Nebraska as sufficient to satisfy all the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act. H.R. 3 also approves the additional federal permits required pursuant to the Clean Water Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the Migratory Bird Act, and addresses the challenges under the Endangered Species Act with respect to the American burying beetle. H.R. 3 gives the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit exclusive jurisdiction over the specifically listed legal challenges to the Keystone XL pipeline and provides for expedited consideration of the claims allowed under the bill.
According to CBO estimates, enacting H.R. 3 will have no significant impact on the federal budget. The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.
The bill contains the following citations to other parts of U.S. law:
The United States Code is the compilation of permanent laws enacted by Congress. Temporary and other non-permanent laws do not appear in the United States Code. (About half of the United States Code is the law itself, called positive law. The other half is merely a compilation of the laws but has no legal significance.)