The first bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this session was a bill to compel the federal government to issue a permit to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
This afternoon, President Obama vetoed it.
Here is his veto statement:
February 24, 2015
TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:
I am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” 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 Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because 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.
– BARACK OBAMA
This pipeline is a boondoggle that Republicans have, at the bidding of their Big Oil benefactors like the notorious Koch brothers, shilled for by touting the completely mythical job creation that it will spur and by lying about how it will decrease our reliance on nondomestic petroleum. The facts are that it will do neither. I have busted open these myths in full detail HERE.
This pipeline is nothing more than a conduit for Canadian tar sands oil to reach refineries in Texas where it will be loaded onto ships and sent out on the world market. It will create very few jobs and most of the oil will never be used in the USA. And, even if it were, it’s not American oil to begin with. But the Big Oil corporations in this country stand to make a killing if we allow the oil to be piped across our country. That’s why they formed corporate front groups like “Energy Citizens” who claim that anyone who opposes this pipeline or offshore drilling is “anti-energy”.
They’re good at what they do and what they do is to lie like rugs to enhance their corporate profits. Sadly, they are also very effective at convincing people that their lies are true.
Fortunately President Obama is smarter than that. Kudos to him for vetoing this horrendous piece of legislation that is little more than payback by Republican lawmakers to the wealthy individuals and corporations who fund their campaigns. Score one for the Good Guys.