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Obama rejects Keystone XL, saying pipeline wouldn’t create many jobs, lower gas prices or boost U.S. energy security
The move ends — for now — a seven-year saga over the proposed pipeline.
The pause, requested in a letter from the Calgary-based company to the State Department, adds new uncertainty to the controversy over the proposed pipeline.
So far, most of the congressional debate on crude exports has focused on the economics of the issue, but former Amb. Carlos Pascual’s comments amplify geopolitical concerns with the longstanding trade restrictions for oil.
The fight over the $8 billion project is far from over, with Republicans vowing to try again to force construction and a White House spokesman stressing that Obama’s veto does not foreclose an eventual permit for TransCanada’s proposed border-crossing pipeline.
Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, the chief Republican sponsor, told reporters Thursday it would be better if Congress was in town when President Barack Obama vetoes the bill “so attention is brought to it.”
Keystone XL advocates do not have enough support in the House or Senate to override a presidential veto — and it’s unclear whether they will even try in both chambers.
The 13-9 vote to approve the measure — with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin the lone Democrat crossing party lines to back the bill — paves the way for Senate floor debate to begin as soon as Monday.
The comment came after Sens. John Hoeven and Joe Manchin on Tuesday introduced legislation to approve Keystone XL, formally kicking off the latest congressional push to authorize the pipeline.
GOP leaders have signaled that Keystone XL is one of their top priorities when they take control of the Senate in January.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and other supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline are racing to line up 60 votes in favor of the project, ahead of a milestone vote next Tuesday.