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House passes Cramer-sponsored bill to speed Keystone pipeline

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline without the president's signature.

The Northern Route Approval Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., would allow TransCanada Corp. to construct the pipeline on the merits of the more than 15,500 pages of existing impact studies. It would not require additional environmental studies.

The White House said this week that President Barack Obama opposes the bill and says the legislation "seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes."