Thursday, a defiant Senate approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline. In a vote of 62-36, the Senate joined the House in approving the construction of the pipeline which would stretch from Canada to Texas.
Nine brave Democrats joined with 53 Republicans in the Senate to send a clear message to Obama that the pipeline needs to be built for the benefit of the American people.
However, this is by no means is the final hurdle before construction can begin.
President Barack Obama has indicated in the past that he will veto the bill with his mighty pen should it appear on his desk.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed as late as Thursday that Obama would indeed veto the bill.
To overcome the presidential veto, the House and Senate will need to have a total of 67 votes out of their 100 members in order to overturn it.
The Keystone is imperative as it would be a positive economic boon for the United States.
“Constructing Keystone would pump billions into our economy,” according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY. He added that, “It would support thousands of good American jobs and as the president’ own State Department has indicated, it would do this with minimal environmental impact.”
In addition to adding jobs, the Keystone would also lower the price of oil.
Experts believe that shipping the oil by rail instead of through a pipeline that can run 24/7, adds $5 to $10 to the price of a barrel.
Unfortunately, adding jobs and cutting the price of oil, appears to be contrary to Obama’s social justice theme of “you didn’t build that,” which has been so prevalent throughout his terms in office. If Obama has his way this time, the Keystone will never be built in America.
Obama’s explanations for rejecting the pipeline are numerous.
You may recall Obama indicated in January 2012 that his rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was “not a judgment” on the merits of it, rather it was based, at that time, on the “arbitrary nature of the deadline.”
Although, he’s had three years without a deadline to approve of the pipeline, apparently even without a deadline, he plans to veto it this time for a different reason.
The report he sent to Congress in 2012 may or may not be the same excuses he gives in 2015 to veto the bill.
After making the statement in 2012 that his rejection was based on an arbitrary nature of the deadline, Obama sent a report to Congress indicating that he was actually rejecting the pipeline because he didn’t believe that there would be long-term employment and that if there were additional jobs created, only approximately several thousand temporary jobs would be generated by the construction of the pipeline.
Obama’s report also indicated to Congress that the overall economic impact would be minimal and that the United States wouldn’t lose out on massive amounts of oil if the pipeline wasn’t constructed since other means of transportation, such as rail, already existed.
Regardless of the explanation Obama uses this time to reject the Keystone pipeline, it’s high time for the Republican-controlled House and Senate to put on their big girl and boy pants and pass this bill. This is an important showdown that the American public has been waiting for.
Americans want to see the economy growing, a long-term reduction in oil prices, and job creation.
Americans are also tired of hearing excuses coming from this Congress as to why they can’t get the job done.
Don’t disappoint your constituents again! Make it Happen!