Congress

Published on February 24th, 2015 | by Acadia Otlowski

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President Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline

Today, President Obama vetoed the bill that would allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built.

The measure has been heralded by the conservative-dominated Congress as a job creator, but many on the other side were concerned about the environmental implications of the pipeline.

Although this was only the president’s third veto of his presidency, it is likely that there will be many more, what with the Republican-run Congress.

While Congress has the ability to overturn the veto with a two-thirds vote, it is unlikely that they will be able to muster up the votes.

The bill passed the House 270-152 and the Senate 62-36, which is a far cry from the two-thirds that Congress needs to overturn the veto.

The pipeline would connect crude oil sources in Alberta Canada with the existing pipeline in Nebraska, which will allow the company TransCanada to pump hundreds of thousands of barrels a day into the United States.

This would have brought countless jobs into the country for a time, but the negative environmental impacts far outweigh the economic ones in the eyes of the president.

According to the state department, the inception of the pipeline would create 42,000 jobs over the two year construction period, but would only employ 50 people after construction was complete.

Critics have called the veto “purely political” but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the president approved the measure with little to no fanfare.

In an op-ed House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote that the president has been humoring “liberal extremists” since 2009.

They blame the president for catering to these groups because they claim that the pipeline has passed every environmental test, despite the current Keystone pipeline leaking on a fairly regular basis. Most of these are minor, but back in 2011, the pipeline spilled 21,000 gallons of oil in a major spill.  There are concerns that this could be the case with the Keytstone XL pipeline, which passes through areas where spills would affect people’s drinking water.

Congress will have a veto override vote scheduled by March 3.

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About the Author

is a freelance writer based out of Albany, NY. Acadia is also an intern at WAMC news in Albany and is the site director of Red, Green and Blue. Acadia was formerly the editor-in-chief of her college newspaper, The Recorder, at Central Connecticut State University. She has freelanced for a handful of local newspapers and was a web intern at the Hartford Courant for a summer.



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