My apologies to the United States Senate. Subsequent to submitting my previous Newsmax Insider entry, the Senate did pass legislation directing the approval of the Keystone Pipeline by a vote of 42–36, short of the two-thirds vote that is required to override what is a certain presidential veto. The vote in the House also fell short of the two thirds majority required to override a presidential veto.
If the president vetoes the bill when presented to him, it will be only the third time he has used his veto pen. In the past, the Democratically controlled Senate has blocked bills not passing White House muster before being sent to the president. Virtually every president in modern history has used the veto more frequently. For example President George Bush used the veto pen ten times, Ronald Reagan 17 times. Two were overridden.
The pipeline still has regulatory and economic obstacles to overcome. As I mentioned in my earlier message, two additional pipelines are proposed — one for Come by Chance, Newfoundland in Canada and the other for the west coast of Canada, to serve the Chinese and Japanese markets. These pipelines will provide competition to the Keystone pipeline, bringing product to the world market. Both are proposed by Trans Canada — the Keystone applicant.
The delay in the pipeline has forced oil producers to use truck and rail to bring product from the well to the refinery. Both truck and train are significantly more accident prone than pipeline. In a study issued in 2013, the prestigious Manhattan Institute demonstrated that pipeline transport was twice as safe as rail transport, and nearly ten times as safe as highway transport.
Although initially opposed to the export of natural gas to Europe, the administration is now encouraging the construction of facilities to export both natural gas and oil.
With the Keystone pipeline, the United States will be in a position to compete in the world energy market. Today, Russia is Western Europe's filling station. Germany relies on Russia and the Ukraine for virtually all its gas and oil.
Owen Smith is chairman of the board of trustees at The Institute of World Politics. He has a rich background in local government and taxation. After attaining a law degree from St. John's School of Law, and practicing for 29 years, he spent seven years as deputy county executive of Nassau County, N.Y. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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