UPDATE 2-Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline, leaving it in limbo

Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:04pm EST
 
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By Jeff Mason and Timothy Gardner

WASHINGTON Feb 24 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday, as promised, swiftly vetoed a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period.

The U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after receiving Obama's veto message, immediately countered by announcing the Republican-led chamber would attempt to override it by March 3.

That is unlikely. Despite their majority, Republicans are four votes short of being able to overturn Obama's veto.

They have vowed to attach language approving the pipeline to a spending bill or other legislation later in the year that the president would find difficult to veto.

The TransCanada Corp pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels a day of mostly Canadian oil sands crude to Nebraska en route to refineries and ports along the U.S. Gulf. It has been pending for more than six years.

Obama, who rejected the bill hours after it was sent to the White House, said the measure unwisely bypassed a State Department process that will determine whether the project would be beneficial to the United States.

"Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest," he wrote in his veto message.   Continued...