WASHINGTON, January 6 (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama will not sign the Keystone XL pipeline bill if the new US Congress approves it, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday.
“If this bill passes this Congress, the President would not sign it,” Earnest told reporters.
The spokesman explained that the Keystone XL pipeline route has not been finalized yet and that this is the main stumbling block.
The hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline in US Senate is scheduled for Wednesday and the House of Representatives is set to vote on the bill on Friday.
“I am under the impression that both the House version and the Senate version are the same, so essentially the veto threat would apply to both,” Earnest specified.
The Keystone Pipeline System currently stretches from Canada’s Alberta to refineries in the US states of Nebraska, Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma. Its expansion, Keystone XL, is planned to carry heavy crude oil through America’s heartland from Canada’s tar sands.
Thousands of US environmentalists have been protesting against the 1,179 mile (1,897 km) construction that will cost some $8 billion to build, according to a recent TransCanada Corporation estimate.