Tags: Keystone XL Pipeline | environmentalists | Obama | veto

Report: Environmentalists 'Feeling Good' About Keystone Veto

Image: Report: Environmentalists 'Feeling Good' About Keystone Veto
(Michael Reynolds/EPA/Landov)

Monday, 12 Jan 2015 10:38 AM

Environmentalists are thrilled by President Barack Obama's recent criticism of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and are hoping he's sending a signal that he plans to veto the project, The Hill reports.

The House passed a bill last week in support of the construction while the Senate is expected to do the same in the near future. But green lovers believe that Obama's recent negative statements on the Canada-Texas pipeline indicate that he's likely to reject it.

And Karthik Ganapathy, a spokesman for 350.org, said the environmental group is "feeling pretty good" about Obama's statements "because the president’s language has been some of the strongest that he’s ever given on Keystone."

He added: "It’s very easy to frame the debate as where you’re either for trees or for jobs. Now, the president’s starting to articulate more forcefully that that’s a false dichotomy, that Keystone doesn’t get us anything in terms of economic growth, but it also comes at an enormous cost to our environment."

After years of sitting on the fence over the pipeline, Obama is not only distancing himself from Keystone, he’s pointing out that the construction would not help Americans to get jobs or boost the economy, while also warning of its potential global warming dangers.

"It’s very good for Canadian oil companies, and it's good for the Canadian oil industry but it's not going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers, it’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to U.S. consumers," he told reporters last month.

And on "The Colbert Report" in December, Obama said: "It could create a couple of thousand potential jobs in the initial construction of the pipeline, but we’ve got to measure that against whether or not it is going to contribute to an overall warming of the planet that could be disastrous."

A month previously, during an Asia tour, the president said that Keystone "is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf, where it will be sold to everyone else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices."

Officially, the State Department is still trying to decide whether to recommend that Obama should approve the application, some six years after it was proposed.

The State Department had put its decision on hold while waiting for the Nebraska Supreme Court to rule whether the pipeline’s route through that state was constitutional. On Friday, the court approved the pipeline route.

But the State Department and the White House said they still had not reached a deadline for a decision, and also had not reversed their position that Congress may be acting outside its jurisdiction by approving the pipeline, according to The Hill.

State spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused last week to release a possible timeline for the department’s review, saying only "I don't anticipate" that it would happen after the 2016 election.

David Goldston, the top lobbyist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says Obama’s comments show that he’s leaning more towards vetoing the pipeline.

"His comments, especially with the lame-duck vote in November, have more explicitly laid down the arguments for rejecting Keystone," he said. "That’s definitely the evolution in terms of public statements, more comprehensive and more negative over time."

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Environmentalists are thrilled by President Barack Obama’s recent criticism of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and are hoping he’s sending a signal that he plans to veto the project, The Hill reports.
environmentalists, Obama, veto
Monday, 12 Jan 2015 10:38 AM
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