We all knew it was coming but it’s fun to celebrate President Obama’s first significant Veto – No to the Keystone Pipeline!
While Republicans in Congress are obsessed with the President’s supposed overreach on immigration and other issues, they sent him legislation that certainly is overreach – it would remove his authority to approve the pipeline.
In his veto statement, Obama says:
"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.
"The presidential power to veto is one I take seriously … 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."
Paid off Senate Republicans and a handful of Democrats will now try to override the veto with more votes in the House and Senate. If that doesn’t succeed, they will likely attach it to the Transportation Bill.
Democrats are: Joe Manchin (WVA), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Mark Warner (VA), Claire McCaskill (MO), Bob Casey (PA), and Joe Donnelly (IN). On the fence: Michael Bennet (CO), Tom Carper (DE) and Jon Tester (MT.)
The pipeline is also held up in court in Nebraska, which could tie it up for another couple of years.
It’s really time for President Obama to permanently reject the pipeline so that this circus can end. The decision could come soon because climate hawk Secretary of State John Kerry is reviewing the final comments submitted by the EPA and other agencies. He will make his recommendation to the President.
"Keystone is an albatross, preventing Congress and the President from taking much-needed action on jobs, infrastructure and climate change. It doesn’t address our crumbling roads and bridges, our inefficient power grid, or any of the other important infrastructure issues we face, and will only exacerbate the threat of climate change. If Congress really wants to support American infrastructure and create jobs, there are much more effective ways than the Keystone pipeline – and they would have much stronger bi-partisan support," says Richard Eidlin at the American Sustainable Business Council, which has a membership of 200,000 US businesses that care about climate change and the environment.
"If Obama does reject it, perhaps it will help wake up Canada and move it back from its status as a rogue nation on climate change, and it will certainly energize those fighting Energy East, Kinder Morgan, and the other proposed pipelines," Bill McKibben told Huffington Post Canada.
"Canada, indeed, stands at a crossroads. It can continue down Harper’s chosen path, unearthing billions of barrels of filthy fossil fuels and shackling its economy to the volatile trade in a single commodity – becoming rich or going broke at the whim of the oil markets," says Tim Dickinson in the Rolling Stone article, "Crude Awakening: How the Keystone Veto Dashes Canada’s ‘Superpower’ Dreams" – read the article: