"TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would transport oil sands crude from Canada and crude produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery to Gulf Coast refineries. The proposed pipeline would consist of 875 miles of 36-inch pipe with the capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day. Because it would cross the Canadian-U.S. border, construction of Keystone XL requires a Presidential Permit from the State Department. A decision to issue or deny a Presidential Permit is based on a determination that a project would serve the national interest, considering potential impacts on the environment, the economy, energy security, foreign policy, and other factors. Environmental impacts are evaluated and documented in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). […] Development of the Keystone XL Pipeline has been controversial. Proponents base their arguments supporting the pipeline primarily on increasing the diversity of the U.S. petroleum supply and economic benefits, especially jobs. Pipeline opposition stems in part from concern regarding the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the development of Canadian oil sands, continued U.S. dependency on fossil fuels, and the risk of a potential release of heavy crude. The Energy Production and Project Delivery Act of 2013 (S. 17), the Keystone for a Secure Tomorrow Act (H.R. 334), a bill to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (S. 582), and the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3) would all effectively approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Strategic Petroleum Supplies Act (S. 167) would suspend sales of petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the pipeline is approved. On March 22, 2013, the Senate passed an amendment to the Fiscal 2014 Senate Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res. 8) that would provide for the approval and construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline (S.Amdt. 494)."
CRS Report for Congress, R41668