As expected, President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline. Shortly after the Feb. 24 announcement, TransCanada said it would continue to work toward getting the prjoject built.
“The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,” Obama said in a statement. “But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety and environment — it has earned my veto.”
TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling responded afterward with a message of his own.
“TransCanada remains fully committed to Keystone XL despite today’s veto of bipartisan legislation in support of the project,” Girling said. “The facts show Keystone XL passes the national interest determination test and President Obama’s climate test. Without Keystone XL, U.S. refineries are forced to use other methods of transportation to get the oil they need for creating products we all rely on every day. This means higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and relying on methods of transportation that are not as safe or as efficient as pipelines, according to the U.S. Department of State.”
Girling added that pipelines are the safest method of transporting millions of barrels of crude oil across North America and warned that other methods that will have to be used instead may have a cost.
“While groups opposed to the safe and sustainable transportation of products such as oil by pipeline may try to claim a symbolic victory,” he said, “it’s important to focus on what is at stake.”
Girling went on to list a number of potential risks that could come to bear without the Keystone XL Presidential Permit, such as increased transportation of crude by rail, barge and truck; continuing to pay billions of dollars to unfriendly or unstable regimes instead of using oil sourced in North America; and the potential loss of jobs created by the project.
“As we have done throughout the permitting process,” he concluded, “TransCanada will keep working in good faith with the U.S. Department of State and other federal agencies to address any outstanding concerns with regard to Keystone XL, including those that were most recently raised by the EPA.”
The bill to approve the Keystone XL project passed through Congress in January. The Senate voted 62-36 in favor on Jan. 29, while the U.S. House of Representatives voted 266-153 to approve the project on Jan. 9.Tags: Keystone XL, veto