The threat of a veto has loomed over the Keystone Pipeline XL since it passed both Houses of Congress. Now, Barack Obama is taking that very action. Here is a wrap up of coverage by major media:
“President Obama vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline, making good on a threat to reject a proposal embraced by Republicans as a jobs measure but opposed by environmentalists as contributing to climate change.
“‘The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,’ Obama said in his veto message to the Senate. “‘But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto'”… (read more)
The Daily Caller
“Republicans chastised Obama for vetoing legislation to approve the 1,179-mile pipeline that would bring oil sands from Alberta, Canada to refineries near the U.S. Gulf Coast. The veto comes as no surprise, as Obama has for months he would veto any legislation approving the pipeline.
“Republicans have hit Obama for shutting down a project that would make the U.S. less dependent on oil from OPEC, Russia and other unfriendly nations.
“’Disappointing but not surprising for the president to give the thumbs down to American workers, consumers, and our Canadian friends,’” said Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton. “’Keystone XL is an economic win-win that would create tens of thousands of shovel-ready jobs and strengthen our energy partnership with our North American neighbor, helping insulate us against future turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere that could cause price hikes.’”…. (read more)
The veto, which the White House has long promised on this or any other Keystone-approval bill, is the first one in the last five years. It essentially blocks what Republican leaders like Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have called a top priority of this congressional session.
Obama’s beef with the bill isn’t necessarily with the pipeline itself. Instead, the president wants the approval process to go through the State Department, which normally has jurisdiction over international infrastructure projects.
In his memo to the Senate, the president said: “Because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest—including our security, safety, and environment—it has earned my veto.”
The administration still hasn’t indicated whether it will approve the pipeline, even though there aren’t any more bureaucratic hurdles to clear. Early this month, the window for government agencies to weigh in closed. The most significant comment came from the Environmental Protection Agency, which said that if oil prices go much lower than they are, moving oil from Canada by truck or train could become too expensive. So a green-light for the pipeline would lead to greater greenhouse gas emissions than if it were not approved… (read more)