Speaker of the House John Boehner. Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

The House of Representatives approved the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline Friday, paving the way for Senate approval later this week.

The bill won by a margin of about 90 votes including 31 Democrats and every House Republican.

Friday’s vote was the ninth time the House has approved the pipeline since 2011.

The Senate is expected the voting process Tuesday with the bill reportedly just one vote shy of a filibuster proof majority, Reuters said.

The White House has not commented on whether President Obama would veto the bill if it passed, although he has threatened to reject similar legislation in the past.

Obama said he is waiting for the State Department to finish its evaluation of the proposed pipeline before making a final decision.

The State Department has not disclosed when the evaluation is expected to be finished.

The pipeline has been waiting for U.S regulator approval since 2009 and has faced vocal opposition from environmentalist groups.

TransCanada said last week that regulatory delays have spiked costs for its Keystone XL crude pipeline up to $8.4 billion, up from previous estimates of $5.4 billion.

Calgary-based TransCanada must also win approval from the Nebraska State Supreme Court and the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

Earlier this year the U.S. State Department released a key assessment of the pipeline that concluded the project would have a limited environmental impact.

The Keystone XL pipeline would stretch 1,179-mile from Hardisty, Alberta to to Steele City, Nebraska located just north of the Cushing oil hub.

The U.S. leg of the pipeline would run 875 miles from Morgan, Montana to Steele City.

Along with transporting crude oil from Canada, the Keystone XL Pipeline would also grant American oil producers more access to refining markets in the Midwest and the U.S. Gulf Coast.


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