Keystone XL

Senate Votes 60 to 36 For Keystone XL Pipeline: Obama Veto Pen Ready?

Symbolic vetoes are not in the national interest.


Keystone map

The Keystone XL pipeline would transport more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil derived from Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. It has been exhaustively analyzed by the State Department for environmental and other issues and its construction has several times been found to be in the national interest. Nevertheless, President Obama sent it back for reconsideration as a transparent ploy to avoid making either the environmentalist or the labor wings of the Democratic Party angry just before federal elections.

After the vote, the League of Conservation Voters sent out this statement:

"This dirty and dangerous bill is soon to meet its well-deserved fate – a presidential veto. We remain confident that President Obama will continue to build on his incredible climate leadership by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all. It's no surprise that Majority Leader McConnell's first order of business was standing with polluters, but the debate over the last several weeks provided ample opportunity for senators to show whose side they're on. On vote after vote, senators faced a choice between standing with polluters and protecting our air, land, water, and climate for future generations. We commend those senators who consistently chose the latter." 

On other hand, the Laborers' International Union of North America emailed this declaration from its General President Terry O'Sullivan:

"We applaud the Senate vote – it's a vote they should not have been forced to take. We hope the President stops the politics when a bill reaches his desk and unlocks the good jobs and energy the pipeline will support."

Well, then. The president has said that he would not make a decision until a series of reviews of the pipeline by various federal agencies were complete. According to the New York Times, the deadline for those reviews is next Monday. The betting is that since the President wiil not be running again for office, he now evidently feels comfortable about coming out his environmentalist closet to veto the just passed Congressional legislation authorizing the construction of the pipeline.

For more background see Reason TV's "3 Reasons to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline" below: