House approves Keystone XL pipeline

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The project has been under consideration by the Obama administration for more than six years, and is anticipated to cost more then $8 billion. The measure was approved 252 votes to 161.

As the issue heads to Congress, some House lawmakers have expressed confidence that the measure will continue to move forward. The bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, told the press that he would make it "as easy as possible for the Senate to finally get a bill to the president's desk that approves this long-overdue Keystone XL pipeline."

The proposed pipeline will transport heavy oil 1,179 miles from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. Gulf coast energy hub. Its construction has come under heavy fire from both environmental groups, who stress its negative impact on sensitive habitats, and Native Americans, whose land the pipeline would traverse. 

However, proponents argue that its construction will revitalize local economies, employ thousands of workers and make North American oil producers more competitive in the global market. 

It is anticipated to be a close race in the Senate, and even if the companion measure passes, the decision will still be subject to Obama's veto. The measure is planned to begin being addressed by Thursday, November 27.

After the decision, some oil drilling companies may experience the need for supply chain and logistics management. The current marketplace has become increasingly volatile, and has experienced significant consolidation alongside increased regulations. Oil and gas strategy consulting can help organizations react appropriately to these challenges, and ensure teams are aligned to overarching goals.