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Experts Say Future of Keystone XL in Question Despite US Senate Approval

© AP Photo / Danny JohnstonKeystone XL oil pipeline
Keystone XL oil pipeline - Sputnik International
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Experts say that the future of the Keystone XL pipeline is still uncertain, as US President Barack Obama is likely to veto the project in spite of Senate's authorization.

MOSCOW, January 31 (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov — The future of the Keystone XL pipeline is still uncertain, as US President Barack Obama is likely to veto the project in spite of Senate's authorization, experts told Sputnik Saturday.

"The President has indicated he opposes this method of approving the pipeline – having Congress require approval rather than having the normal administrative process run its course – and that he is skeptical about the Keystone project itself. He has asked whether the small number of jobs is worth the potential environmental damage," Keith Gaby, Communications Director, Climate & Air, at Environmental Defense Fund, told Sputnik.

On Friday, the US Senate passed the bill, approving the construction of pipeline to transport 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada to the US Gulf Coast. The Upper House of the US Congress voted 62 to 35.

Gaby said he believed that the legislative attempt to approve the pipeline will ultimately fail, as there are not enough votes in the Congress to override the president's expected veto.

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota - Sputnik International
US Senate Passes Bill Authorizing Keystone XL Pipeline
According to Gaby, the pipeline would be the "wrong path" for both the United States and the world, as the tar sands oil it would transport is very polluting.

Tim Boersma, Director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at Brookings, told Sputnik that the US President felt that the construction of the pipeline would come at significant environmental costs.

"He doesn't want to do it [sign the bill] because a large part of his electorate is not in favour of constructing the pipeline," Boersma said, adding that he did not believe the Obama administration would approve the pipeline.

According to Boersma, even if the pipeline is not built, the oil will find its way to the market. The oil is already finding its way to the southern refineries, Boersma said.

The Keystone XL pipeline would connect Alberta, Canada and the US Gulf Coast. According to Energy and Commerce Committee estimates, the pipeline would bring an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to US refineries.

Environmental groups claim the Keystone XL pipeline project will contribute to carbon emissions and climate change, while being of little benefit. However, State Department Environmental Impact Statement released January said that there will be no significant impact from the project.

The US President Barack Obama repeatedly threatened to veto the controversial project.

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