Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

pipelineDefying 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.

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  • Avatar

    sonnyhill

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    Now Michael Bloomberg is advising Stephen Harper to embrace climate change and Obama might give him his pipe line. “Pretend you like it for us, Stephen. Yield, you’ll have more fun”

    Reply

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    Al Shelton

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    Obama is a complete hypocritical fool.
    He is a puppet with no backbone and is also NOT a black president. The last I heard he had a white mother and a black father.
    50/50. Hence he is a Mulatto.

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  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Prime Minister Harper is not about to be bullied by the USA president or anyone else .

    Is anyone surprised Obama vetoed the bill ?
    Of course not .Keystone has been around over 6 years it can wait another 2 if need be .
    To use a hockey analogy :
    Mr .Harper is not about to give up a top first round draft pick for a rental player .

    The Obama pitch for Congress to work together was a PR stunt .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    sonnyhill

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    [quote name=”Amber”]Prime Minister Harper is not about to be bullied by the USA president or anyone else .

    Is anyone surprised Obama vetoed the bill ?
    Of course not .Keystone has been around over 6 years it can wait another 2 if need be .
    To use a hockey analogy :
    Mr .Harper is not about to give up a top first round draft pick for a rental player .

    The Obama pitch for Congress to work together was a PR stunt .[/quote]4 years ago, would you have suggested that Keystone XL could wait another 6 years? Damage is being done to a faithful friend of Uncle Sam. We’re so polite AND patient, too. Obama is a wrecking ball. What will he do in the next 22 months? I shudder to think.

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  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Good point Sonnyhill .What will he do in the next 22 months you ask ?

    He may have enjoyed his little bit of pen flexing but the Democrats are going to have to deal with the election and his “legacy “

    The Republicans can only hope he continues to throw his own party under the bus .

    What a great team player .

    Reply

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