Nearly two weeks after Congress approved the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama has officially vetoed the bill calling for its construction, stating that the project is not in the national interest. The decision follows a clear statement from the White House last month saying the president would not sign the bill into law if Congress, currently controlled by Republican lawmakers, passed it.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is a 1,179-mile pipe that would carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canadian oil sands to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. The cost of the project has ballooned to $8 billion since it was first proposed in 2008, and though an earlier Keystone bill died in the Senate last year, the Republican-controlled Congress passed it this January. Supporters say that the pipeline would create jobs and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
"Keystone XL is a step in the wrong direction."
Obama has previously stated that he wants a complete review of the pipeline from his administration rather than have Congress force his hand and says that the White House has "no final disposition" on the subject. However, the proposal has met with staunch protests from scientists and environmentalist groups. Earlier this month, a group of more than 90 scientists and economists sent a letter to Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry urging them to reject the pipeline. "The Keystone XL pipeline will drive expansion of the energy-intensive strip-mining and drilling of tar sands from under Canada’s Boreal forest, increasing global carbon emissions," they wrote. "Keystone XL is a step in the wrong direction.
Now that the bill has been vetoed, Congress will need to muster a two-thirds majority vote in both houses to override the president's decision. However, the bill's chief sponsor Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) stated on Fox News Sunday last month that it may fall short in terms of support.
The full text of the veto is below, via Newsweek: