Obama To Veto Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

So you can take the Keystone XL Pipeline off the short list of opportunities for Barack Obama to go the extra 1000 miles to exhibit his bipartisan affection for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner (per this report from MoJo’s Tim McDonnell; AP broke the story):

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the president’s position hasn’t changed since November, when pipeline supporters in Congress last attempted to push through its approval—an effort that fell just one vote shy of the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate. Obama was adamant then that approval for the pipeline come not from Congress, but from the State Department, which normally has jurisdiction over international infrastructure projects like this one. A final decision from State has been delayed pending the outcome of a Nebraska State Supreme Court case, expected sometime early this year, that could alter the pipeline’s route.

Please note this doesn’t mean the pipeline might not ultimately get approval, but Obama’s not going to rush it. So now the focus will be on whether Republicans and energy-state Democrats can put together the votes for a veto override, which is unlikely.

You have to wonder if this project is being overtaken by the economics of really low oil prices. But for now, it’s still on hold.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.