The Republican-led US House of Representatives has passed a bill approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
An identical bill will be considered by the majority Democrat Senate next week but may lack the votes to pass. It would also be a blow to President Barack Obama if members of his Democratic Party joined Republicans to approve the pipeline.
The 6.3 billion euro pipeline project would help transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Final approval would bring to an end years of jousting between supporters, who tout its job-creating potential, and environmentalists, who say Canada’s extraction of oil sands would increase emissions linked to climate change.