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.
(What the President fails to mention when he says “cuts short thorough consideration” is that the State Department has been “studying” Keystone for over 6 years! He is saying they NEED MORE than 6 years to study these things! He’s a liar and a coward because he won’t tell the truth about why he is vetoing the Pipeline – he’s just playing politics. That is all.)
Members of Congress were quick to respond to the President’s ridiculous, shortsighted and completely political decision to veto the Pipeline.
“The president’s veto of the Keystone jobs bill is a national embarrassment. It’s embarrassing when Russia and China are plowing ahead on two massive pipelines and we can’t get this one no-brainer of a project off the ground. The president is just too close to environmental extremists to stand up for America’s workers. He’s too invested in left-fringe politics to do what presidents are called on to do, and that’s put the national interest first.
“For the president, Keystone may just be today’s politics, but there are workers and unions who have spent years counting on the 42,000 jobs this project will support. There are small business owners counting on the promise and opportunities this project will bring to their towns. There are governors in both parties counting on the revenue and growth this project will bring to their states. There are manufacturers clamoring for the development of North America’s resources. And there’s an overwhelming majority of Americans who want us to put politics aside and get this done.
“So we are not going to give up in our efforts to get this pipeline built – not even close. We pledged to make the people’s priorities our priorities, and we will keep working every day to deliver on that commitment.”
“The president’s veto of 42,000 jobs is appalling. After five safety and environmental reviews by the president’s own State Department, he decided to put partisan politics in front of all the families who would benefit from the good-paying jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would create. It is my hope that we can find another way to move this important jobs project forward.”
According to the State Department, the Keystone XL pipeline would create approximately 42,100 jobs and roughly $2 billion in earnings throughout the country.
“Today, President Obama showed his cards – instead of being willing to work with Congress in a bipartisan fashion, he folded to extreme environmental groups, putting radical interests above those of honest Americans, their jobs, and their economy.”
“The president’s veto of our Keystone XL pipeline approval legislation is not surprising, but it is unfortunate as his veto stands in contradiction to the will of the American people. This bill has passed both chambers of Congress and the American public has expressed its support for the project in poll after poll. Every state along the pipeline’s route has approved the project, and a series of environmental reviews completed over the course of six years have all concluded that the project will have no significant environmental impact. Yet, the president vetoed the bill because it ‘cut short’ his review process, which has already gone more than six years.
“The president’s veto is bad news for Americans and good news for OPEC. We are in a competition with OPEC for global market share and energy leadership. Whenever the president makes it harder to produce and transport energy here at home and work with our close ally Canada, he makes it easier for OPEC to keep us dependent on their oil.
“The Keystone XL pipeline is about energy, jobs, economic growth and national security through energy security. That is why we will continue working to approve this important infrastructure project. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to try and gain the support necessary to override the veto. Another option is to attach this legislation to other energy, infrastructure or appropriations legislation that the President won’t want to veto. The will of the American people and Congress is clear.”
“Watching bipartisan legislation come to a halt in one swift veto can be frustrating, but watching a bill that inched toward this consensus over six years to bring our country closer to an energy independent future is downright disappointing. Building out our national energy infrastructure is absolutely integral to a comprehensive North American energy policy – and we cannot continue to unnecessarily delay the construction or maintenance of critical pieces of that infrastructure, like the Keystone XL pipeline. The Administration, and some of my colleagues, profess a commitment to an all-of-the-above energy strategy – but talk is not enough. Since before I was elected to Congress, I’ve been wholly committed to working toward that goal, and successfully recruited ten Democratic Senators to join me in support of this project last year. While I’m disappointed the President vetoed the bill today, those of us who support the project must remain vigilant make North American energy production more interconnected. We must continue to look for other avenues and also work for more votes and compromises on legislation that would ultimately approve this project, and I’ll keep working to find a path forward that will finally get shovels in the ground on this project. The President’s decision not to support our friend and ally Canada is short-sighted given that this oil would displace heavy crude in unstable and unfriendly countries, but I remain confident that the facts and common-sense will win out and this project will eventually move forward.”
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) –
“Republicans and Democrats in both chambers of Congress have voted overwhelmingly to support the Keystone Pipeline, as well as the potential jobs and economic benefits that go along with it. After six years of equivocating, today President Obama has proven that he puts his political agenda ahead of bipartisan compromise, job creation, and energy independence. Vetoing this legislation is just sheer political spite.”
Senator John Boozman (R-AR) –
“The Keystone pipeline would bring a reliable supply of energy into our country – providing opportunity, creating jobs and lowering the cost to ship goods, products and crops. The idea that Congress is sidestepping the normal process is out-of-touch with reality. This project has been studied for more than six years and has been given the green light at every obstacle. Arkansans and all Americans can see that President Obama is the real hurdle to Keystone. I will continue to support this project, and I urge the Senate to quickly vote to override this veto.”
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) –
“President Obama’s veto of a bipartisan bill approving the Keystone XL Pipeline is regrettable. But what’s more concerning is his continued tendency to put his liberal allies ahead of America’s best interests. Arkansans and all Americans deserve better. The Keystone XL Pipeline would lower energy costs for all Arkansans, create and sustain jobs at Welspun Tubular, and provide our businesses with much needed certainty. I will continue to put Arkansas workers and families first and advocate for approval of this important project.”
Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) –
“The President made it official today – he’s a pawn of the radical left. Besides kowtowing to his political base, there is no logical reason not to build the Keystone Pipeline right now. This should not be a partisan issue. The President’s own administration said building it wouldn’t cause significant environmental harm.
The President is shirking his responsibility to deliver good paying jobs to American workers. They are ready to work; they just need the Obama administration to get out of the way. The President needs to do what’s best for America, not what’s best for fringe environmentalists.
Congress should override the President’s veto and pass the Keystone Pipeline once and for all.”
Editor’s Note: You’ll recall that Congressman Justin Amash, who supports the Keystone Pipeline project, voted “present” because the bill “bill improperly exempts TransCanada Corporation—and no other company—from laws that require pipeline owners and operators to obtain certain government permits and approvals.“