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Congress approves controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline

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Obama is set to veto

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Congress, controlled by Republicans, has approved the Keystone XL pipeline, 1,179 miles of pipes that would traverse the US and Canada, carrying about 830,000 barrels of oil each day. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has said he would veto the bill.

The House of Representatives voted 270-152 to approve the bill, according to the AP. The Senate passed the bill last month. Last year, another Keystone bill died in the Senate, but this January, Republicans took over the majority in the Senate, giving them the majority in both houses of Congress. The president has 10 days to veto.

the plan is unpopular with environmentalistsThe Keystone pipeline is meant to connect Canadian oil sands to Texas in the US — where the refineries are — and was first proposed in 2008. The pipeline's costs have almost doubled to $8 billion since its initial planning phases, according to the International Business Times. Proponents of the plan say it would create jobs and help benefit the economy.

The pipeline is unpopular with environmental groups in the US and Canada, which have protested the project. Scientists have also condemned the Keystone pipeline. NASA climate scientist James Hansen has publicly criticized the pipeline in the Los Angeles Times, for environmental reasons. He has called for US lawmakers to reject the pipeline, as a demonstration that the US is serious about taking action against climate change. If the pipeline is built, Hansen writes, it would mean that the US is "too entrenched with business-as-usual to do what's right by the people, planet, and future generations."