Obama Issues Keystone Pipeline Veto

Keystone Pipeline Veto
Keystone Pipeline Veto

The White House issued a press release this week to announce that President Obama has carried out his promise to veto the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. This action allows a final decision to be put on hold until further environmental reviews are complete.

The Keystone pipeline veto is the latest round in a highly political debate that has been raging since 2008, when the TransCanada Corporation first applied for a permit to construct the pipeline. At issue is a proposed 1,179-mile section of the pipeline that would run through the heart of the Bakken Formation in order to deliver 800,000 barrels of petroleum to the refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Related: Keystone Showdown Likely for New Year | Bakken

Related: No Need For Keystone XL - Continental's CEO Harold Hamm

Since the first of the year, President Obama has hinted at his intentions to veto anything the Republican majority might try to push through. Instead he has urged lawmakers to “pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.” Read more here.

In the official news release, President Obama stated “The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. 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.

A backlash to the Keystone pipeline veto began almost immediately and accusations towards the President have accelerated, with some decrying his ties to environmental groups. The future of the legislation is unclear, but republican lawmakers are certain to try and override the veto very soon.

Read more at whitehouse.gov

photo credit: Seal Of The President Of The United States Of America (license)

Obama Threatens Another Veto for Pipeline

President Obama to Veto Keystone Bill
President Obama to Veto Keystone Bill

On the very day that Congress reconvened, President Obama spoke out about his intentions to veto the latest version of the Keystone pipeline bill. This pronouncement escalates the standoff that has continued for over six years as lawmakers, divided along party line, have debated whether the benefits outweigh the potential risks of such a venture. The GOP has been very clear that this issue would be the first order of business for the 114th congress.

Related: Keystone Showdown Likely for New Year

Until now, the president has been vague about his intentions and as late as Monday was not speaking publicly about this. But that all changed on Tuesday when White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, announced that a veto is likely.

Earnest told USA Today that “I can confirm for you that if this bill passes this Congress, the president wouldn’t sign it either. And that’s because there is already a well established process in place to consider whether or not infrastructure projects like this are in the best interests of the country.

Understandably, the President's decision has been difficult and disappointing news for Republicans who had hoped that their newly elected majority status would change the outcome.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky said that, “The president threatening to veto the first bipartisan infrastructure bill of the new Congress must come as a shock to the American people who spoke loudly in November in favor of bipartisan accomplishments. Once again the president is standing in the way of a shovel-ready jobs project that would help thousands of Americans find work.

Read more in usatoday.com

photo credit: Barack Obama via photopincc

Keystone Showdown Likely for New Year

Bakken pipeline threatened
Bakken pipeline threatened

President Obama’s strong remarks at Friday’s press conference set the stage for what is likely to be a New Year’s showdown over the future of the Keystone pipeline. As the new Republican-led Congress is poised to make this issue its top priority when it reconvenes in January, Obama expressed his concern that the benefits to the U.S. have been exaggerated.

Congress narrowly rejected a bill in November that would approve continued construction that would wind through the Bakken formation of Montana and North Dakota. The votes fell predictably along party lines, but with recent elections bringing Republicans into the majority, a new bill is likely to pass quickly in the new year.  It isn't clear whether the President will veto new legislation, but it will not be smooth sailing.

Commenting on the pipeline, President Obama said that, “It’s very good for Canadian oil companies and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry, but it’s not going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers.

At issue is whether the benefits of the new section of the Keystone pipeline outweighs the potential dangers espoused by democrats and environmental groups. These opposing voices claim that the pipeline will potentially bring great risk to the climate, air quality, the ecosystem, public health, the water supply and landowner rights.

Certainly this issue is complicated, and with the continued debate and outcry over the current methods of transportation for Bakken crude, alternatives must be explored and genuinely considered. Living in the modern world means risk, and at some point it becomes a matter of which risk we are more willing to take. We cannot continue to enjoy, even demand, the lifestyle that this crude affords us without also being willing to make the hard choices that its production demands.

Read more from www.wsj.com.