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Senate Vote Fails to Override Keystone Veto

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The Senate fell short in its attempt to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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The final vote of 62-37 didn’t reach the two-thirds majority needed to override the presidential veto.

The U.S. State Department has been reviewing the pipeline for more than six years. Congressional Republicans want to speed up that process and grant a permit immediately. While Obama said Congress was trying to “circumvent longstanding and proven processes” of approving a cross-border pipeline, supporters of Keystone XL said the legislators were doing what the American people want.

“Lawmakers are listening to the American people on Keystone,” said API president and CEO Jack Gerard in a statement following the March 4 vote. “That’s why Democrats and Republicans came together on this bill and that is why there are efforts to override the president’s veto. While we urge Congress to continue to fight for [Keystone XL], there should be no need for Congressional action if the president would make a final judgment on Keystone. The president has always had the authority on this and he can approve this pipeline today.”

The proposed 1,179-mile, 36-in. Keystone XL pipeline would up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. The bill to approve the project passed through Congress in January, with Senate voting 62-36 on Jan. 29 and the House voting 266-153 on Jan. 9 to approve the project. Obama vetoed the measure on Feb. 24.

After the veto, TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling said the company “remains fully committed to Keystone XL despite today’s veto of bipartisan legislation in support of the project.”

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