President Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline.
However, his reason seems a bit nit-picky.
The White House said Obama doesn’t necessarily oppose the pipeline, but he opposes the process that delivered the bill to his desk.
The pipeline is supposed to ship oil produced from Canadian tar sands through the middle of the United States, ending up in ports along the Texas Gulf Coast. It then will be shipped overseas. Proponents of the bill say it will create jobs and will help ensure that the world’s supply of oil remains high, thus helping ensue cheaper prices for the oil around the world.
Although I do support the pipeline, the president’s veto makes a modicum of sense.
He thinks an environmental study process should have been allowed to run its course. Congress short-circuited that process — which includes a complete review by the State Department.
“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 veto message said.
As Bloomberg News reported: “White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama’s rejection was strictly about the legislation and not the project. It’s ‘certainly possible’ that Obama would eventually approve the pipeline once a State Department review is completed, he said, without giving a timetable.
“’The president will keep an open mind,’ Earnest said, repeating past administration language.”
The White House said the review is part of an intricate longstanding process that’s been honored over many years. Congress’s decision to fast-track the pipeline didn’t allow a thorough review of the total impact of the project.
Perhaps the State Department can complete its review in relatively short order, deliver its findings to Capitol Hill and the White House — and then we can go through this legislative process all over again.
Let’s do it the right way.