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Updated 1:10 p.m. | The White House is rejecting a Canadian company’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, sounding a death knell for the controversial project that has long pitted President Barack Obama against Republicans and the energy industry.
Obama on Friday criticized members of both parties for treating the proposal like a “campaign cudgel instead of a serious policy matter.” Ultimately, the president said he concluded the plan was “neither the silver bullet” for the U.S. economy nor a sure-fire cause of “climate disaster” as claimed by those on either side of the issue.
It would be “unusual” to again delay a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, given how long the process has taken thus far, the White House said Tuesday.
One day after TransCanada Corp. asked the State Department to suspend a review of its application to build the $8 billion Keystone oil sands pipeline from Canada until at least mid-2016, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Barack Obama still wants to make a decision about the project before he leaves office in January 2017. Full story
Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline at an Iowa town hall Tuesday, citing climate change.
Clinton also seemed to ding President Barack Obama’s administration for taking so long to make a decision; the State Department she used to head is in charge of the review, and Clinton said she thought they would have issued a decision by now and she could then say whether she agrees with it. Full story
Hillary Rodham Clinton had an unusual dodge for a yes-or-no question from a voter on whether she would sign a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline: Wait until I’m president.
Clinton at first pointed, as she has previously, to her unique status as the secretary of State during the time when the review of the pipeline was initiated, and said she wanted to wait for President Barack Obama to make his decision. She said she wouldn’t second-guess the president’s decision. Full story
President Barack Obama has vetoed the Keystone Pipeline bill as promised, using his veto pen for just the third time and the first since 2010.
Obama had repeatedly vowed to veto the bill, one of the first major legislative efforts by Republicans now in charge of both chambers of Congress, citing process. Obama has said the State Department’s years-long review of the project must finish first, and Press Secretary Josh Earnest has left open the possibility Obama could approve it then.
The veto came without public fanfare or a big ceremony.
The Senate received the veto message Tuesday afternoon. Immediately after that, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced on the floor that action in response to the veto would be considered no later than March 3.
Republicans note the project generally fares well in public opinion polls.
And though the project has bipartisan support, it does not have veto-proof majorities of 291 in the House and 67 in the Senate. That means an override vote is certain to fail.
It remains to be seen whether Keystone might become a bargaining chip at some point down the line as Obama faces showdowns with Republicans on any number of issues.
And it almost assuredly won’t be the last veto of the next two years. Obama’s already threatened vetoes on many of the major bills being considered by Republicans so far, including any effort to stop his immigration executive actions.
Although if Senate Democrats continue to act as his de facto veto pen on measures like the DHS funding bill via the filibuster, Obama’s veto pen might not get as big a workout as had been expected.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.
The new GOP-led Congress is moving quickly to put a bill expediting the Keystone XL Pipeline on President Barack Obama’s desk, despite a new veto threat from the White House.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest, in his daily briefing Tuesday, said the president has no plans to sign the legislation. Full story
The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s second term may be sweeping climate change regulations, and he isn’t about to let Congress rein him in.
White House adviser John Podesta, back at the White House podium, said congressional Republicans will not be able to block the president’s climate regulations, despite numerous legislative efforts to do so.
“Those have zero percent chance of working,” Podesta said. “We’re committed. … There are no takers at this end of Pennsylvania Avenue.” Full story