Keystone veto disappointing

Published 10:17 pm Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Disappointed but not surprised.

That was the reaction of U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., when she learned of President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline bill.

“I’m disappointed, but not surprised that President Obama vetoed a bipartisan plan to finally build the Keystone Pipeline. This project would create tens of thousands of jobs at a time when Americans need them. It would improve our ability to utilize North American sources of energy so we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It is a shame President Obama has looked past the proven benefits and rejected this bipartisan proposal in the name of politics,” Roby said in a statement.

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“It is the Obama Administration’s own foot-dragging on Keystone that made this legislation necessary. Now, with his veto, the buck for obstructing the Keystone Pipeline has stopped squarely on President Obama.”

The Keystone project, first proposed six years ago, has been in limbo ever since. Designed to connect Canada’s tar sands with refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast, the pipeline requires a federal permit since crosses international lines.

Proponents, such as Roby and her fellow Republicans, say the $8 billion project will create jobs, spur growth and decrease dependence on Mideast oil. Democrats and environmentalists say it is an environmental danger.

Like Rep. Roby we are “disappointed but not surprised” by the president’s veto.

Sadly, the Keystone project is likely the first one of several hot-button political stands between President Obama and the new Republican-controlled Congress. Health care reform, immigration, financial regulation – all are issues the president has threatened to reject with a veto, setting the stage for gridlock and a fight on Capitol Hill.

Unfortunately for the American taxpayer, reform and progress are likely to be held hostage by bipartisanship and political power struggles.

And that is truly disappointing.