Keystone XL Update (Feb. 2015)

For now, the Keystone XL pipeline goes back to the planning stages.

The newly-sworn in Republican Congress passed the bill earlier this year, after it failed in the Senate in November. The pipeline bill would allow for a Keystone XL tar sands pipeline to span from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, but President Obama vetoed it within minutes of it reaching his desk, reports Reuters. USA Today reports that Obama mentioned the bill “earned” his veto:

“The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,” Obama said in his veto message to the Senate. “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.”

Image from NPR, adapted from TransCanada

The pipeline – actually named the TransCanada Corp pipeline – would carry 830,000 barrels a day of mostly Canadian oil sands/tar sands/crude oil through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska to refineries and ports along the U.S. Gulf. “It has been pending for more than six years,” reports Reuters.

Nebraska courts rejected the pipeline’s path in 2014, citing land ownership problems as unconstitutional. #NOKXL groups cite spill hazards and the interruption of wildlife migration as serious reasons why the pipeline should remain a figment of America’s imagination.

The bill is likely to pass through Congress again, as Republicans have the majority. For now, we wait.

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