Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

Yahoo News – by Josh Lederman

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Obama offered no indication of whether he’ll eventually issue a permit for the pipeline, whose construction has become a flashpoint in the U.S. debate about environmental policy and climate change. Instead, Obama sought to reassert his authority to make the decision himself, rebuffing GOP lawmakers who will control both the House and Senate for the remainder of the president’s term.  

“The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,” Obama said in a brief notice delivered to the Senate. “But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people.”

Obama vetoed the bill in private with no fanfare, in contrast to the televised ceremony Republican leaders staged earlier this month when they signed the bill and sent it to the president. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans were “not even close” to giving up the fight and derided the veto as a “national embarrassment.”

The move sends the politically charged issue back to Congress, where Republicans haven’t shown they can muster the two-thirds majority in both chambers needed to override Obama’s veto. North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, the bill’s chief GOP sponsor, said Republicans are about four votes short in the Senate and need about 11 more in the House.

Although the veto is Obama’s first since Republicans took control on Capitol Hill, it was not likely to be the last. GOP lawmakers are lining up legislation rolling back Obama’s actions on health care, immigration and financial regulation that Obama has promised to similarly reject.

“He’s looking at this as showing he still can be king of the hill, because we don’t have the votes to override,” Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a vocal opponent of Obama’s climate change agenda, said in an interview. “If he vetoed this, he’s going to veto many others that are out there.”

First proposed more than six years ago, the Keystone XL pipeline project has sat in limbo ever since, awaiting a permit required by the federal government because it would cross an international boundary. The pipeline would connect Canada’s tar sands with refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast that specialize in processing heavy crude oil.

Republicans and the energy industry say the $8 billion project would create jobs, spur growth and increase America’s independence from Mideast energy sources. Democrats and environmental groups have sought to make the pipeline a poster child for the type of dirty energy sources they say are exacerbating global warming.

For his part, Obama says his administration is still weighing the pipeline’s merits, and he has repeatedly threatened to veto any attempts by lawmakers to make the decision for him.

The GOP-controlled House passed the bill earlier in February on a 270-152 vote, following weeks of debate and tweaks in the Senate to insert language stating that climate change is real and not a hoax. Republican leaders in Congress delayed sending the bill to the White House until they returned from a weeklong recess, ensuring they would be on hand to denounce the president when he vetoed the bill.

The veto forced Republicans, still reveling in their dramatic gains in the midterm elections, to confront the limitations of being unable to turn their ideas into law without the president’s consent — despite the fact they now control both chambers of Congress.

Republican leaders were mulling a number of potential next steps. In addition to trying to peel off enough Democrats to override Obama’s veto — an unlikely proposition — Republicans were considering inserting Keystone into other critical legislation dealing with energy, spending or infrastructure in hopes that Obama would be less likely to veto those priorities, said Hoeven, R-N.D.

“We’ll look to see if we can get some more bipartisan support,” said Hoeven.

Obama last wielded his veto power in October 2010, nixing a relatively mundane bill dealing with recognition of documents notarized out of state. With the Keystone bill, Obama’s veto count stands at just three — far fewer than most of his predecessors. Yet his veto threats have been piling up rapidly since Republicans took full control of Congress, numbering more than a dozen so far this year.

The president has said he won’t approve Keystone if it’s found to significantly increase U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. A State Department analysis found that the tar sands would be developed one way or another, meaning construction of the pipeline wouldn’t necessarily affect emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month called for that analysis to be revisited, arguing that a drop in oil prices may have altered the equation.


Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at–finance.html?clear-cache

11 thoughts on “Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

  1. lol
    requires legislation to be built? no thanks then.
    Gotta love a ‘government’ that claims the ‘president’ decides what is to be built and what should NOT be built. LOL


  2. Here is the way I see it tho….I think this is some type of propaganda stunt by the obama administration. I can almost guarantee the pipeline will continue.
    The thing is, they are using trains to take the oil to the gulf of mexico, then to be sold to other countries. If the oil was for the U.S. they could use trucks.
    We will see over the next few weeks if obama puppet is just doing some type of propaganda stunt. I think the EPA will give “proof” (lol) that it wont give carbon emissions and obama gets a gold star for protecting the planet from man made global warming…(sic)

  3. ““But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people.””

    Bahahahaha! I can’t believe Barry can say that with a straight face.

  4. You know, I’m confused. If Barry is working for the Zionists/Communists, then why is he so against the Keystone XL Pipeline since they are the ones who want it built and who he works for? What am I missing here? Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to me. I mean I’m glad we don’t have that pipeline, but why does Barry not want that Pipeline built, either? Please explain.

    1. Is it because the Republicans wouldn’t allow his immigration bill as part of the deal? I don’t know, they’re all liars and crooks that play on the political stage. Both sides get their “marching orders” from the same source and, if you stray from those orders, well, good luck with that.

      1. Yea but he denied it 2 or 3 other times already which were well before the immigration bill thing, so I don’t think that was it. I don’t know.

    2. There is already 4 others. That is the not reported angle.

      Every business deal has at least 2 sides. Deals come and go.

      Its not about a pipeline. Its not about left or right or vindication for a previous transgression.

      Its socio and psychopathic people fighting. Most of them think “within the matrix” and are not informed. They care about their own gains.

      They are tossed a bone and then they fight over it. They care not where the bone comes from nor where they are. So long as they get the bone. They perceive themselves as winners.

      They dont give a rats poop shoot about a pipeline. Just the perception of power and increase in financial prowess that they can extort from a mention of it. They dont care 1 shekel about illegals or the constitution. They care about what they can get from the topic being common and controversial.

      As for the ‘illuminated’ homos, they dont care about a pipeline either. They have money and power and ultimately can take out any competition. They most likely bet in secret about how long before ‘shill clinton’ or ‘quisling jones’ get discovered and ran up a flag pole.

      Hope that helps.

  5. “However, Mr. Obama is under no legal obligation to make a final decision, and there is no official timetable for a decision. He could approve or deny the project at any time — or leave the decision to the next president.”

  6. NC….I posted my theory…its just propaganda to make believe he is really a president..I guess the selfies didnt go over so well.. 🙂
    The pipeline will continue…

  7. Of course, no one’s talking about the EMINENT DOMAIN by a foreign company, TransCanada, in the Keystone legislation, giving a foreign company power to take land from Americans.

    TransCanada tries to take land from folks in Nebraska:

    I post in comments here quite often that everything is opposite: the GOP is the party that’s supposed to be against BIG GOVERNMENT EMINENT DOMAIN. On all their rightwing media and FB memes, they’re pushing for the pipeline…not telling their readers and fans about the EMINENT DOMAIN in the legislation. For foreign companies, no less. I guess people on the right hate illegal immigrants…except if they’re corporations.

    TransCanada Corp. said it mailed new offers of right-of-way payments this week to more than 100 Nebraska landowners who have refused to sign an easement contract.

    The letters also say the company will pursue eminent domain against landowners who don’t agree to terms by Jan. 16. The company says Nebraska law requires condemnation proceedings to start within two years of the state’s approval of the pipeline route, which occurred Jan. 22, 2013.–plus/article_2cd4561e-e60c-57c2-a630-2af45ade456a.html

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