WASHINGTON – As promised, President Barack Obama vetoed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
That doesn’t mean the project is dead, however. It just means the State Department will continue its review of whether the pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries, is in the national interest. That review has been under way for years, and the length of this process is what prompted Congress to pass its own bill approving the pipeline.
In his veto message to the Senate, Obama said the legislation would “circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Obama’s veto of the legislation “embarrassing, when Russia and China are plowing ahead on two massive pipelines and we can’t get this one no-brainer of a project off the ground.”
“The president is just too close to environmental extremist to stand up for America’s workers,” Boehner said.
Supporters of the pipeline contend it would create thousands of construction jobs and enhance North American energy security.
Opponents contend it would make climate change worse because it would encourage production of tar sands crude oil, a particularly dirty form of energy. They’re optimistic that Congress won’t be able to override the president’s veto and that the Obama administration will reject the project.