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Senate Panel Backs Bill to Bypass Obama, Clear Keystone

A U.S. Senate committee approved a bill that would bypass President Barack Obama and permit the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, part of a drive by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to force a vote by the full Senate.

The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12-10 today for legislation that would let Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. build then operate the $5.4 billion Canada-to-U.S. oil pipeline that has been snagged in disputes for more than five years. Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Chairman Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who helped write the bill, joined all the Republicans in backing the legislation.