As promised, President Barack Obama has vetoed the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Bill.
The Keystone XL pipeline would have transported oil from Canada to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. The project drew sharp criticism from environmental groups, Native Americans, Indigenous Canadians and activists worried about the safety of the pipeline.
“[The Bill] attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest,” Obama said in his veto message. "[B]ecause 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.”
The White House said the bill would cut the State Department’s review of the project short. Obama was also skeptical of how many jobs the pipeline would create.
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NBC reported the Senate was notified of the veto this afternoon. Congress formally submitted the bill today, having passed it before the week-long Presidents Day recess.
Obama’s veto may not be the final word.
After the decision was passed down, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will attempt to override Obama’s decision by March 3. However, it is unlikely that two-thirds of Congress would vote in favor of the bill again, meaning the veto will probably stand.
House Speaker John Boehner said the veto was “a national embarrassment” in a statement. "The president is just too close to environmental extremists to stand up for America's workers. He's too invested in left-fringe politics to do what presidents are called on to do, and that's put the national interest first,” he said.
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This is Obama’s third veto during his six years in office. He has not vetoed a bill since 2010.