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Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

February 24, 2015

President Obama will today, as promised, veto “without drama or fanfare or delay” a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House said.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said the GOP-controlled Congress had sent the text of the bill to the White House this morning.

“The president does intend to veto this pace of legislation, and we intend to do it without drama or fanfare or delay,” he said.

As we have previously reported, Republicans made approving the Keystone XL pipeline one of their top priorities when they took control of Congress in January.

The House voted to approve the measure Jan. 9. The Senate approved another version of the bill on Jan. 29. The House voted Feb. 11 to endorse the Senate’s changes — which added language saying climate change was real, and oil sands should not be exempt from a spill-cleanup tax — and sent the measure to the White House.

Republicans do not appear to have enough votes to override the threatened veto.

At issue is who should have the power to approve the project to carry oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. State Department has been reviewing the pipeline for more than six years, working to determine if it is in the national interest. Congressional Republicans want to circumvent that process and grant a permit immediately.

Politicians from both parties, some unions and energy companies support approving the pipeline; environmental groups, some Nebraska landowners and some liberal Democrats oppose it.

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