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:

NEXT: Obama Wants More Spending, McCain Hates Anti-War Protesters, Senate Votes on KeystoneXL: P.M. Links

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  1. After Obama vetoes the pipeline I’m sure those filthy Canadians will just leave the oil in the ground where it can’t hurt the climate.

  2. I’m kinda disturbing by Reason’s love affair with Keystone. That said Obama and its other opponents aren’t motivated by opposition to cronyism or Eminent Domain.

    1. I find it hard to believe that there is not already rights of way existing that the line could be laid on.

      I think both parties are motivated by cronyism and eminent domain abuse, just not the way we would like.

      1. I find it hard to believe that there is not already rights of way existing that the line could be laid on.

        Not economically, no. Believe me, the last thing utility companies want is to have to buy a new right-of-way.

    2. If the government didn’t make companies file a route years ahead of time and just let the companies work directly with land owners ED would hardly be necessary. If the landowners knew the companies could easily just go around them without filing for permission to change their route then they likely take the money offered and not try to bid the amount up. This doesn’t justify ED but government intervention in the private market is the problem that forces companies into cronyism and an overuse of ED.

      If a past life I chased RoW for Telecom companies and we would sometimes go miles out of our way to obtain RoW to avoid landowners who wouldn’t alllow an easement. We sometimes paid more for private easement just to avoid the state. We also didn’t have to file environmental impact statements like pipelines do. Because we didn’t need to file a route years in advance we rarely had to try and get the state to use ED for us.

  3. The President of no. Obstructionist President.

    I am sure we will hear those phrases over and over now in the MSM.

    1. The Republicans are obstructionist by not giving Obama everything he wants.

  4. Every article on Keystone XL should include a map of the other 50,000+ miles of petroleum pipelines we already have, which somehow have not killed us all yet.

    There’s a stupid meme traveling around Facebook that just annoys the hell out me. The message is something like: “The pipeline travels over this giant aquifer that spreads over eight states. A pipeline break will pollute the aquifer, which supplies water that grows 30% of our crops. When 30% of our crops fail….”

    1. So, somehow, this pipeline laid above the impermiable layer that holds the aquifer in the ground is going to burst so hard that it cracks the aquifer open and forces it’s lighter than water payload down into the water layer?

      1. Yes, the pipeline is made out of Ford Pintos.

      2. And then spread across eight states and cause famine.

        1. and no one can turn off the spigot in an emergency.

  5. maybe it’s a guilty pleasure but something about watching proggie constituencies at war with each other is satisfying.

  6. According to the New York Times, the deadline for those reviews is next Monday.

    Why do I suspect that we won’t see those reviews for quite some time?

  7. Hey, does anyone have an opinion about Chris Kyle? If so I would really like to read it.

    1. He seems to have married well.

      1. The most salient point shared on this topic. Well done, sir.

        1. I think it was a rhetorical question (see below).


  8. I wonder how many democrat law makers will lose their jobs in 2016 because of Obama vetoing this bill? Not enough, that’s for sure.

  9. I find the complete ecological illiteracy of the anti-pipeline activists interesting. The Canadian oil is already being extracted. And shipped. And refined. And sold to consumers who are burning it and creating CO2 emissions.

    The only thing that changes with the pipeline is that transport becomes much safer and more economical. Opposing the pipeline on grounds of saving the environment is just plain stupid.

  10. CORECCTION: Local libertarians have opposed the pipeline from the get-go for eminent domain and other reasons. They’ll likely feel this REASON article is misleading as to the real libertarian activity on the subject.

    For info on the world movement, please see

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