What’s the Deal With Obama’s Veto of the Keystone Pipeline?

President Obama has vetoed a bill from Congress regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline. (Image: US Embassy New Zealand via Compfight cc)
President Obama has vetoed a bill from Congress regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline. (Image: US Embassy New Zealand via Compfight cc)

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been a hot button political issue for years now. President Barack Obama did exactly as he promised Congress he would, yesterday he vetoed the bill that they passed a few weeks before.

The first face off with the Republican led Congress is complicated. Obama wrote a note to the Senate explaining his veto: “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.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told press outlets that Obama planned to veto the bill because he questions that the  pipeline, which seeks to transport over 800,000 barrels of crude oil from Alberta Canada all the way to Texas, would actually serve the national interest.

Obama further explained that: “Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

Supporters of the pipeline have argued that it would create both short and long term constructions jobs, and increase the supply of lower cost reliable energy.

They also argue this would lead to lower oil prices and would benefit the economy.

Those in opposition to the project feel that the pipeline would accelerate climate change because of the intense extraction of bitumen in Canada. It could also pollute waterways. Opponents also disagree that the project would create many long term jobs and wouldn’t do much to benefit the U.S. Economy.

This issue isn’t dead just yet though, and the President’s approval likely weighs on the Environmental Protection Agency’s assessment from earlier this month that a new study had to be conducted to see if the pipeline would significantly increase carbon dioxide, therefore leading to increased global warming.

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