President Obama vetoes Keystone pipeline bill

RT | —

As promised, US President Barack Obama has vetoed a bill from Congress which will halt construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Defying the wishes of the Republican-led House and Senate, the president on Tuesday rejected the years-in-the-making would-be legislation that sought to pave the way for a 1,179-mile pipeline to carry crude tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Congress authorized the bill more than a week ago, and in recent days it was handed off to the White House.

“The president does intend to veto this pace of legislation, and we intend to do it without drama or fanfare or delay,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said at a scheduled media briefing early Tuesday afternoon in Washington, DC. It was confirmed later in the day that the president had, in fact, vetoed the bill.

Ahead of the president’s expected decision, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – top-ranking Republicans representing Ohio and Kentucky, respectively – published an op-ed condemning Obama’s intentions.

“The allure of appeasing environmental extremists may be too powerful for the president to ignore. But the president is sadly mistaken if he thinks vetoing this bill will end this fight,” they wrote. “Far from it. We are just getting started.”

The National Journal noted that the president’s action signifies only the third time that the Obama administration has issued a veto. According to reporter Clare Foran, the move may “usher in a new era of hostile confrontation between the president and the Republican Congress.” President Obama previously vetoed bills in 2009 and 2010.

Indeed, the predominately right-leaning House and Senate may try to override the president’s veto, but doing so would require a two-thirds majority in both chambers to accomplish as much — a feat which, according to the Associated Press, is uncertain at the time being. AP reported on Tuesday that Sen. John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), the bill’s top GOP sponsor, said the Republican P is still about 15 votes short of obtaining a majority. According to Fox News, the House and Senate will need 281 and 67 votes to override the president’s veto — not a far cry from the 270 and 62 votes that lawmakers in those chambers cast when they approved the Keystone pipeline before sending it to the White House.

Via RT

Related video added by Juan Cole:

What President Obama’s veto means for Keystone’s future

One response

  1. The commonly used description of the KXL Pipeline as “oil” pipeline is a blatant misnomer and openly deceives those who are concerned about this obvious attempt by those behind the pipeline, their Congressional adherents and corporate-controlled media to gollywallop the U.S. public.

    The proposed KXL pipeline is absolutely NOT a conventional crude oil pipeline. The KXL pipeline is intended to deliver tar sands diluted bitumen or “dilbit.” Both the IRS and the Texas Railroad Commission do not designate diluted bitumen aka dilbit to be a crude oil product as it contains such a low percentage of crude oil.

    The primary refined end-product derived from diluted bitumen/dilbit is “pet coke” one of the most polluting sources of fuel available, polluting more than oil or coal by a wide margin. (Currently, pet coke cannot be used as a fuel within the U.S.)

    Tar sands bitumen is 70 times thicker than conventional crude oil. It must be both heated and highly diluted with toxic solvents to flow through a large diameter pipeline. Larger because FAR more product must flow compared to convention sources of sellable hydrocarbons to be profitable.

    Pipeline pressures for crude oil is less than 800 psi. The KXL diluted bitumen/dilbit blend requires very high pressures ranging from 1400 to 2160 psi while being heated to above 98 degrees F (mean temperature between pumps) in the process.

    Tar sands dilbit is both abrasive and corrosive making pumps and heating measures to move dilbit along a large diameter pipeline less reliable and far more energy consuming. Transmission pipes made for crude oil are ill-suited for heated tar sands dilbit at two or three times the pressure of crude oil.

    Dilbit sinks in water which makes it virtually impossible to clean up if a pipeline rupture occurs near water like the many streams and rivers the KXL pipeline will traverse if ever approved. There have already been two major dilbit pipeline breaks (far less diameter pipes than KXL) resulting in much downplayed environmental emergencies. The Enbridge 6B 30 inch pipeline ruptured near Marshall, Mich. in July 2010 dumping more than a million gallons of tar sands dilbit into the Kalamazoo River. And the 2013 Mayflower, Arkansas EXXON/Mobil Pegasus 20 inch dilbit pipeline rupture allowed 294,000 gallons in less than an hour to befoul the streets and homes of Mayflower making it all the way to Interstate 40.

    The KXL pipeline is at least 36 inches in diameter.

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