WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill that is aimed at improving energy efficiency in buildings — a rare moment of bipartisan agreement in a tense debate that is nowhere near being settled.
Lawmakers voted, 91 to 5, to add the popular energy-efficiency provision to a contentious bill that would approve construction of the Keystone pipeline.
The amendment, offered by a Republican, Rob Portman of Ohio, and a Democrat, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, is backed by President Obama and has broad support among members of both parties in Congress. But the measure will almost certainly languish in Congress for months before it can become law as part of the Keystone bill or as a stand-alone measure.
Congress is expected to pass the Keystone bill after another several weeks of debate and send it to Mr. Obama, who will almost certainly veto it. The president wants to retain the authority to make the final decision on approving the 1,179-mile pipeline, which would carry 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the oil sands of Alberta to ports and refineries on the Gulf Coast.