President Obama used his executive powers to veto the highly contentious Keystone XL pipeline construction proposal yesterday. The veto marked the third of his entire presidency.
“The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously, but I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people,” Obama wrote in his veto. “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.”
Vetoing the pipeline has been a long fight. Two years ago, the Sierra Club organized a rally of 50,000 people to protest the construction of the pipeline.
“Keystone XL is a dirty and dangerous pipeline,” Mara Crowley of Energy Action Coalition said at the Sierra Club protest. “It’s literally going to cut our country in half, carrying a very dangerous fuel, and it will cause runaway climate change.”
This veto, however, doesn’t mean that fight is over. While the veto has stopped pipeline construction from being forced through legislation, the project is going back to review in the State Department, where it has been for the past six years. From there, Secretary of State John Kerry will make an official determination, “which will likely sway the President’s final decision.”
Media Resources: The Huffington Post, 2/24/15; Think Progress, 2/24/15; Feminist Majority Foundation, 2/19/13