Earlier today President Obama vetoed a bill that would approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Associated Press reported.
Just the third veto issued during his time in office, Obama struck down the bill that would have taken the ultimate decision regarding the pipeline’s construction out of his hands.
“The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,” the president said to the Senate. “But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people.”
According to the AP,
“Obama vetoed the bill in private with no fanfare, in contrast to the televised ceremony Republican leaders staged earlier this month when they signed the bill and sent it to the president. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans were ‘not even close’ to giving up the fight and derided the veto as a ‘national embarrassment.’
The move sends the politically charged issue back to Congress, where Republicans haven’t shown they can muster the two-thirds majority in both chambers needed to override Obama’s veto. North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven, the bill’s chief GOP sponsor, said Republicans are about four votes short in the Senate and need about 11 more in the House.”
Part of the reasoning behind Obama’s veto is the fact that the State Department has not yet finished its environmental review of the project. And, with any crude oil project, the environmental risks associated could be great. A quick look at any of the recent oil spills, and the BP disaster five years ago, proves that point.
The pipeline also won’t be the jobs creator that the Keystone’s supporters have touted it as. In total, the project would only create about 35 full-time, permanent jobs.
The fight to stop the pipeline’s construction is far from over, but this is at least a step in the right direction.