President Obama Vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline!

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On February 24, President Barrack Obama vetoed the approval of TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline.

According to his veto message to the U.S. Senate, the President declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act because it “conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest…”

Pete Souza via The White House

Pete Souza via The White House


The proposed pipeline would be a 1,179-mile-long, 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline stretching from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska. It is an expansion of the already-operational Keystone pipeline.


While for the moment Keystone XL construction is deadlocked, the State Department — which is under the umbrella of the presidential administration — continues to review TransCanada’s permit application.

Andrew Breiner via Think Progress

Andrew Breiner via Think Progress


The State Department’s final decision regarding the pipeline will be based on “energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant federal regulations and issues,” among other factors.


According to a report from the State Department, the pipeline would indeed increase U.S. jobs and give a boost to the economy. However, it also notes that the project would produce an incredible amount of greenhouse gas emissions — in its construction, operation, and the subsequent use of the heavy crude oil it hopes to transport — and that a medium or large leak in the pipeline would be devastating to the environment.

Michael S. Williamson via The Washington Post

Michael S. Williamson via The Washington Post

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Matthew M. Sullivan holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Grand Valley State University, with emphases in fiction and nonfiction. He lives smack-dab between some railroad tracks and Grand Rapids Michigan's third-busiest road, and spends his time studying film and literary fiction.