"House of Representatives Republicans looking to force approval of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline that was blocked last week by the Obama administration are considering attaching it to a massive highway bill, a key lawmaker said on Tuesday.
'It's not settled,' said Representative Lee Terry, a senior Republican on the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. 'But there seems to be some coalescence for an infrastructure bill.'
The Republicans, searching for ways to resurrect the $7 billion project, also are not ruling out coupling it to a payroll tax bill that needs to get through Congress in February.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said on Tuesday he does not think a provision to speed approval of the pipeline belongs in the next payroll tax cut bill.
'If we want to wean ourselves from foreign oil, why would we allow a pipeline to be built of 1,700 miles to manufacture petroleum products to be shipped overseas? That's the purpose of this,' Reid told reporters.
Terry said an infrastructure bill seems like a "marriage" for TransCanada's Keystone, which would sharply boost the flow of crude from Canada's oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries."