For Immediate Release
Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Bill, Ultimate Rejection Could Come Soon
WASHINGTON - President Obama today vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have forced approval of the dangerous Keystone XL pipeline. The U.S. House and Senate do not have the votes to override the veto, which means the U.S. State Department will be able complete the last stages of its review of the project. President Obama could make a final decision on the pipeline in the next few weeks.
“The president did the right thing in vetoing this bill, but what we really need is an outright rejection,” said Valerie Love with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Millions of Americans have voiced their opposition to the pipeline, and are counting on the president to do what’s best for people, wildlife and the climate.”
In a speech at Georgetown University in June 2013, the president said he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline “only if this project doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency provided a new market analysis that questioned the inevitability of tar sands development and highlighted the serious climate risks of tar sands and the proposed pipeline.
The EPA said the development of tar sands oil that would be carried by the Keystone XL pipeline “represents a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions” with the potential to release up to 1.37 billion additional tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over 50 years. The agency said it would be the pollution equivalent of adding 5.7 million passenger vehicles, or 7.8 coal-fired power plants.
“The Keystone pipeline clearly fails the climate test President Obama laid out in his Georgetown speech,” Love said. “It only creates 35 permanent jobs, doesn’t lower gas prices, and puts farmland, critical water supplies and communities at risk. There is no way this project is in Americans’ national interest.”
At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.