‘Not veto proof yet’? US Senate prepares to vote on Keystone XL pipeline bill

Reuters/Jim BourgRT

While Republicans hope legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline will pass a Senate vote on Friday, a key lawmaker told US media the bill could fail to override a potential presidential veto as it might be short of just four supporting votes.

The US Senate is planning to vote at the end of the week on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy told The Wall Street Journal on Monday.  

The fact that Republicans are in the majority in the Senate after November midterm elections makes McCarthy confident the oil-sands pipeline legislation will pass.

Key Republican Senator John Hoeven told Bloomberg on Monday that the legislation he will submit has 63 votes. This means it would lack four votes to overcome Obama’s veto.

According to Hoeven, supporters of the project proposed by the TransCanada Corporation in 2008 have time to “break through the gridlock,” – that being the president’s signature.

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014. (Reuters/Andrew Cullen)

A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp’s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota November 14, 2014. (Reuters/Andrew Cullen)

“The whole idea is to have an open process and let people offer amendments,” he said.

On Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during his press briefing: “I’m not prepared at this point to issue a veto threat related to that specific piece of legislation.” But he also mentioned that Obama is still critical of the Keystone XL pipeline projects and concerned “about the impact that it could have on carbon pollution.”

The bill failed to pass in the US Senate last November, despite garnering 59 “Yes” votes to 41 “No”votes. That time it was just one vote short.

The Keystone XL pipeline would deliver up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands of Alberta in Canada down to Nebraska. It has become a matter of major concern for environmentalists, who say it will exacerbate global warming and present a risk of oil spills.


Start the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *