President Obama’s third veto in his six years in office came Tuesday when he quickly killed the Keystone XL pipeline legislation hours after it arrived at his desk.
The president said the bill was an attempt by Congress to “circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”
“The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people,” the president said in a written statement “ 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.”
The Keystone XL bill, the first measure approved by the new Republican controlled senate, received enough Democratic votes to prevent a filibuster but was dead on arrival to the president’s desk.
Stressing the loss of about 42,000 construction jobs, Republicans say the president is more interested in catering to his political base than delivering tangible results for the American people. But Democrats say the pipeline is slated to produce just 35 direct long-term jobs.
The Keystone pipeline is a system designed to move more than 830,000 barrels of petroleum per day from western Canada to ports and oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. About half of the system is already built but the Keystone XL is a proposal to build an additional 1,179-mile shortcut connecting to existing pipelines to the Gulf Coast.