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Democrats Could Uphold Obama Veto Of Pipeline Legislation, Schumer Says

Environment Politics Tribune News Service

Democrats Could Uphold Obama Veto Of Pipeline Legislation, Schumer Says


By Joseph Tanfani, Tribune Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — If Republicans push through Congress a measure approving the long-stalled Keystone XL pipeline, Democrats would have the votes to uphold a presidential veto, a top Senate Democrat said Sunday.

Republican leaders say that when lawmakers return to Congress this week, a bill approving Keystone, which has support of most Republicans and some Democrats, will be an early priority.

But Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said President Barack Obama should not sign a bill approving the pipeline. If he does, Schumer said, the pipeline’s supporters in Congress won’t be able to get enough votes to override a veto.

Obama should reject the pipeline even if Congress approves amendments making it more palatable to opponents, such as a requirement that all the oil transported by the pipeline stay in the U.S., Schumer said.

“You know our Republican colleagues are doing what they always do: They’re appeasing a few special interests, in this case oil companies and pipeline companies, and not really doing what’s good for the average middle class family in terms of creating jobs,” he said on CBS’s Face the Nation.

The planned 1,179-mile pipeline, intended to transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, has become a symbolic issue for both sides: Environmentalists say it will worsen global warming, while backers say the project will provide jobs.

Obama has not said whether he would veto Keystone legislation. But his public statements about the proposed pipeline have become increasingly skeptical over the past year. He has noted that the project would have little positive economic impact – the pipeline won’t require many workers to operate once it’s built – and has stressed the potential environmental problems.

Overriding a presidential veto requires a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress. Republicans have majorities in both the House and Senate, but their numbers fall considerably short of that mark.

Polls show that overall the public supports building the pipeline by nearly two to one, but support has declined over the last year. The decline has been particularly sharp among Democrats, who are now evenly divided on the issue, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

Several Republican leaders, including the incoming Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said on Sunday that passing the Keystone project will be a top priority, in part because the pipeline has some bipartisan support.

“We’re going to find out whether or not there are moderate Democrats in the Senate,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD) speaking on Fox News Sunday. “The question is, can we get to 67 if the president decides to veto it? And I think that’s a good question.”

One Democratic senator, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, said she believes that Obama, not Congress, should decide whether to approve the pipeline. But she said it’s time that Obama made up his mind.

“I think the president needs to make a decision,” she said. “A lot of us are frustrated it has taken this long.”

AFP Photo/Jewel Samad



  1. Eleanore Whitaker January 5, 2015

    Actually, it’s so typical of the GOP Big Oil states to try and ram Keystone down our throats. Northeastern states will never allow transport of that filthy oil in our all too heavily residential states. It’s hilarious that for the 8 Bush years all of our federal tax subsidies in the tens of billions went to Big Oil who wanted to Drill Baby Drill..well? They did. ..And now OPEC is defying US Big Oil and refusing to reduce their foreign oil production. With the glut of oil in the US at present, there’s NO need for Keystone oil. The 2500 mile trek from Hardisty Alberta to Galveston where it will be refined will go through several of the states with the worst natural disasters. Tar sand oil is a filthy process that also requires millions of gallons of water a day. Galveston is going to run dry. This is why Republican governors are hot to sell off water rights in their states…they know Keystone tar sand oil will require billions of gallons of water. The joke is that they can’t force state residents to pay for the water used for the Keystone process.

  2. Dominick Vila January 5, 2015

    The dilemma for those with a fair understanding of this issue is not whether the Keystone XL pipeline should be built across the USA to transport highly corrosive tar sand Canadian oil to the Gulf for export to China, that’s a no brainer, but whether we should transport AMERICAN oil from places like North Dakota and Texas to refineries nationwide via rail, road, or PIPELINES for DOMESTIC consumption.
    As an environmentalist, my preference is to transition to other sources of energy as soon as possible, and let fossil fuels follow the way of the dinosaurs, but realistically that is not going to happen for several decades. In the meantime, we need reliable, SAFE, methods to transport oil to its destinations.

  3. FireBaron January 5, 2015

    Oil used in the US? Sorry, it’s already been designated for the Asian markets. We are just the transshipping location.
    Jobs? Despite the claims for how many jobs it will create, Keystone has a total of 10 designated as full time jobs associated with operation and maintenance of the KPL. And if Congress manages to gut the safety regulations requiring those jobs, there will be fewer than that.
    US Produced steel? Nice, but it’s being built by and for a Canadian company that cannot get approval to move the oil through their own country, so all bets are off, there.

    1. ralphkr January 5, 2015

      Recently, FireBaron, XXL revised their estimate of permanent jobs due to their pipeline from 11 to 50. My guess is that the additional 39 jobs shall be as spill cleanup coordinators which appears to be a lifetime position since the 1989 Valdez spill is still being cleaned up.

  4. Kat Saved January 5, 2015

    The ideology of liberalism is an ideology of nonsense.

    1. bobnstuff January 5, 2015

      The ideology for the right is what ever makes money for the rich, which makes sense since that is who owns them.

    2. charleo1 January 5, 2015

      Sorry, We already have several Right Wing Ringers here. spouting vacuous bumper sticker slogans. Nice pic. though. Now, let us see a real one.

    3. vet January 5, 2015

      I bet you could fit what you know about anyone’s ideology into a thimble.

      1. BillP January 6, 2015

        but it would be 3/4s empty

    4. JPHALL January 6, 2015

      What does this remark have to do with the article? Didn’t Faux News tell you what to say?

  5. charleo1 January 5, 2015

    Where has been the Right’s case for the XL? No, I mean the real case. Not just the usual, “it will create jobs,” case they usually make for all the things they like to support. But the real case for how the pipeline would benefit the Country. Why is it an idea good enough to offset the environmental risks, I haven’t heard them deny exist? How would this impact the cost of gas at the pump, or contribute to America’s independence on foreign oil? Would the refining of this contribute to the already critical lack of refining capacity, that is often listed as a reason for a spike in gas prices at the pump, in the spring, and fall seasons? And what about State’s Rights being trampled by a big, bloated Federal Gov.? That is constantly bullying, and usurping the State’s Rights? Is that an argument in this case? If not, why not?

    1. ralphkr January 5, 2015

      I believe that the true right wing case for XXL is that a major spill shall poison the Ogallala Aquifer which will make much of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and some of Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas uninhabitable….Oh, wait, that is much of their voter base. Perhaps they should rethink their priorities.

      1. charleo1 January 6, 2015

        One would suppose, right? That’s their problem, they don’t
        think, they just follow orders. In this case from the oil cos. in
        question, that will be the only winners if the XL is completed

  6. FT66 January 5, 2015

    Anyone who is thinking right must object the XL pipeline. It is not a priority at all. Just put it on pending issues to deal with. The price of gas nowadays is almost nothing. What is the pipeline will help then? if not polluting the air and destroying the environment.

  7. Whatmeworry January 5, 2015

    Obama and Dems’ will never allow a bill to pass that generates thousands of GREAT jobs that doesn’t require any taxpayer $$$

    1. Eleanore Whitaker January 7, 2015

      Oil is not doing well. Why the hell do we need this pipeline when no one is buying oil in the volumes of yesteryear? Why not face the realities that Americans do not want another 2.5 million miles of underground pipelines and certainly not a pipeline coming from Canada into the US on US property that will be owned by Canada.

      1. Whatmeworry January 7, 2015

        Hmmm Americans “DO” want it built by a 2 to 1 margin. Oil prices are depressed because OPEC is afraid of Fracking and the tar sands. There already is a XL pipeline and this would be the 2nd

        1. Eleanore Whitaker January 8, 2015

          Yesterday, I watched the worst US elected suckups of the GOP stand in front of the House and Senate and lie, lie, lie through those expensive, taxpayer paid teeth. OK, Alaska, TX….you had to see how they had the gall to stand there and lie about the previous 1st Keystone spill. Of course now, what they don’t allow is anyone affected by that previous Keystone spill to stand up to these snot nosed rats of the GOP.

          Why do we NEED Keystone? Wall Street is shaking from its rafter with the loss of oil interests. When the 35th wealthiest man in the US, Harold Hamm, Big Oil Boi, starts screaming about how much he’s lost (NY Times, NY Post and NY Daily News Jan. 7), you just know the skanks of the GOP are pushing Keystone because they want Galveston to refine dirty tar sand oil not even a scammer troll like Whatmeworry can deny, just to export it to stand in contest with OPEC. Big Oil is losing and rightfully so. It happened back in the early 1900s with gold and oil and it’s happening again…Dumbasses of the right who insist they know better ignore all the warning signs and prefer to bankrupt the rest us so they can benefits from another round of bailouts from taxpayers. OK, TX, Alaska, ND….these states want it? Then, THEY, not we pay for it. ALL of it including the cost of cleanup.

          Schumer knows what Texas Big Oil is trying to pull and northeastern states don’t want that filthy oil hauled in the most heavily populated area of the country with the most possibility of terror threats. Let the terrorists take out Galveston refining …not NY City, Boston or any of the east coast cities…Who the hell cares about Galveston anyway?

          1. Whatmeworry January 9, 2015

            Hmm who is the largest beneficiary of not building the pipeline?? Why Warren Buffet HathwayBerkshire is the largest owner of CSX stock. CSX has spilled more tar sands crude than all the spills to date from the pipeline.
            The pipeline which now has no legal objection will be passed over Baraks veto

          2. Daniel Max Ketter January 9, 2015

            That pipeline is GONNA LEAK, resulting in the worst environmental disaster to taxpayers since valdez. Let’s all hope the President VETO’s this bill until it’s 6 feet under, and imposes more environmental regulations.

          3. gunslinger February 17, 2015

            Ok Nostradamus, thanks for the insight. You failed to mention the BP oil spill but why would you, Mother Nature just wiped her butt and cleaned up and the spill is nofacto today! Tell those farmers and ranchers they shouldn’t be poisoning the ground water they are trying to save with “man made” toxic chemicals used in farming practices on a regular basis.

          4. Eleanore Whitaker February 17, 2015

            Gunslinger…Check out the 2013 Calgary Sun (Alberta’s biggest newspaper). They reported that Alberta had over 2,000 oil spills from Hardisty’s tar sand mining since 2001. In 2014, a boreal forest was destroyed by one of those spills.

            You are a real jerk. Petrochemicals are the reason TX is No. 1 on the EPA’s biggest polluter list. Ask the people who live in West TX what they think about those mysterious white patches that are appearing above ground.

            Since I’m the daughter of a farmer, I’d love to know what chemicals a farmer uses. Now if you are talking about the Agri-corporations use of GMO chemicals used to create foods, you’d be right.

            My dad never wasted a single thing (A leftover from what he learned about living through the Great Depression). He had a saying, “If it comes out of the ground, it goes right back into the ground.”

            Ever hear of compost idiot?

          5. Eleanore Whitaker January 10, 2015

            The biggest beneficiary of ANY pipeline is the company who owns it…Keystone is owned by Charles and David Koch. You’re not too smart. If you listened to the SC hearings on the case for NB property owners whose land was taken by CanOil to bring the pipeline through their state, the Big Oil boys are now trying to use Keystone as a testing ground to trample states’ rights by calling Keystone “interstate.” It isn’t interstate. And who always any big oil states to just walk in, take property in other states for private profit?

            The Koch oil interests in Alberta’s TransCanada Oil is nearly 2 decades old. You’d know that if you read the Calgary Sun or Canada’s National Post.

            The day an oil company can trample states rights by inferring private profits are “interstate” and therefore a means of taking land by eminent domain is the day your backyard becomes an oil drilling rig. Proud of yourselves now you idiots?

          6. gunslinger February 17, 2015

            Eleanore, you sound just like a puppet of the Obama regime. The Koch brothers are the root of everyone’s problems you say. I think because you were never successful you hate everyone that is. Your envy is killing you. If the Koch bros had so much influence in our politics today… please explain how Obama got re-elected. The libby dem spin doctors can probably help you with this as they did when the mid-terms of 2014 resulted in terror for your party but the spin doctors made it appear as though it never happened.

          7. Whatmeworry January 10, 2015

            I’ve changed my user name 5 times because I have a troll who follows me and signs in as me. I thought the used name would be given out once but that’s obviously not true

      2. Whatmeworry January 7, 2015

        Hmmm Americans “DOnt” want it built by a 2 to 1 margin. Oil prices are repressed because OPEC isn’t afraid of Fracking and the tar sands. There already is a XL pipeline and this would be the 2nd

      3. Daniel Max Ketter January 7, 2015

        Just wait till that pipeline breaks and causes an environmental catastrophe. Wonder if whatmeworry and his tea party hacks will be mopping it it?? Thought not

      4. gunslinger February 17, 2015

        “certainly not a pipeline coming from Canada” you say? Then surely you must also be against a pipeline of illegal aliens coming from Mexico! Although the oil doesn’t stay here unfortunately the illegals do… and what do you think that costs taxpayers? BTW, so sorry you missed all those economics classes that would have made you a little more knowledgeable about this subject. No one is buying oil in volume??? Don’t you read the paper either… China has a few million more drivers today Einstein!

        1. Eleanore Whitaker February 17, 2015

          You really are a bona fide dipshit. Aren’t you? First of all the GAO reported in 2014 that of the three top states who have received in excess of $50 billion since 2001 for border patrol, TX got the lion’s share. Coincidence? Nope. TX claims that more illegals cross their borders than the other 2 states (CA and AZ). Oil doesn’t stay here because Americans no longer want to be a hostage to Big Oil but Oil isn’t staying in the Middle East anymore either. OPEC is under Saudi control and Saudis stated this past Jan. 2015 that they refuse to be controlled by US Big Oil regarding the US demand to decrease Mid East Oil production.

          As for pipelines, the US already has, according to the Natural Gas industry 2014 report, over 2.4 million miles of underground pipelines that include gas and oil.

          OPEC knows that their biggest oil exports will go to their 2 top consumers…China and Russia. That leaves you to swagger, drawl and ride off on your hoss into the sunset. The only reason for Keystone was to drag 2500 miles of pipeline into Galveston from Hardistry Alberta so TX could make big profits by underselling OPEC’s oil prices. Tar sand oil is dirty. It costs three times as much to refine it to get the tar and sand out of it.

          If you want an end to illegals? Bitch to TX …they allow the hiring of illegals which is against federal law. But when you are a blowhard from TX and Big Oil baron, you don’t mow your own grass or make your bottle blonde wives do house cleaning…you hire an illegal at the cheapest possible wages to do it.

          Here’s the TX law you might want to eat your words over:

          Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, a Republican, said the exception (to the law) is a wise one.

          “With things as they are today, her (Riddle’s) bill will see a large segment of the Texas population in prison” if it passes without the exception,” he said.

          “When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers,” Pena said. “It is so common it is overlooked.”

          The bills and other illegal immigration-related bills filed by Riddle and others reflect an increased pressure from constituents for action on
          the issue, Pena said. Because the federal government isn’t doing its job,
          residents press state officials to act, he said.

          Leo Berman, a Republican state representative, agreed that there was a stronger voice from Texas voters on the issue. “Absolutely,” he said.

          Admit it. You are wrong and TX is the state responsible for the influx of ALL illegals they allow to work in their state.

          It’s time to hold employers’ feet to the fire. Hire an illegal and they get their businesses shut down until they hire Americans at American wages.

  8. Whatmeworry January 5, 2015

    Obama and Dems’ will always allow a bill to pass that generates thousands of GREAT jobs that doesn’t require any taxpayer $$$

    1. ralphkr January 5, 2015

      Yes, Whatmeworry, the actual company proposing to build the XXL has upped the ante by increasing their estimate of permanent jobs due to their pipeline from the original 11 jobs to 50 jobs. Personally, I feel that the additional 39 jobs were added due to XXL realization that they would need that many permanent coordinators of spill cleanups. By the way, the Valdez spill cleanup is still ongoing so it appears that spill cleanup coordinator is a lifetime job.

      1. Whatmeworry January 8, 2015

        I don’t care about valdez, I just want cheep oil made in American not some mooslem country

        1. ralphkr January 8, 2015

          Great, another remark from an unthinking Luddite who doesn’t care if we destroy the earth tomorrow as long as he saves money today. By the way, the prospectus for the XL has as one of the big selling points that they expect that the pipeline shall raise the price of oil by $10 bbl. All that oil IS going off-shore without paying any Canadian or US taxes.

          Personally, I feel we should stop using all the oil produced in the Americas (majority or our oil comes from North & South America) and concentrate on pumping all the oil out of the Mid-East & the rest of the world so that only the US shall have oil available and we can truly become Fortress Amerika. .

    2. Eleanore Whitaker January 7, 2015

      Not jobs for Americans. In essence, the only Americans hired by CanOil will those needed to build the pipeline. Once it’s built, there go those short term jobs. How about a little truth out of your brain once in a while?

      You want proof of this? Check the 2006 Calgary Sun or National Post archives.

      1. Whatmeworry January 8, 2015

        I base my facts on a couple of tweets which I’ve read, not some maple leaf socialist archives

  9. Daniel Max Ketter January 5, 2015

    That pipeline is gonna leak, resulting in the largest environmental disaster that will make exxon valdez look like nutting. The GOP punks have black blood on their hands! God I hope Hilary gets elected,

  10. Eleanore Whitaker January 7, 2015

    Since I am perhaps one of few Americans who actually saw the Hardisty Alberta Canada tar sand oil site back in 2000, I can say that it isn’t just a matter of transporting oil 2500 miles through 4 states to refineries in Galveston. It’s a matter of allowing Canada to take US land by eminent domain in NB and other states.

    Texas blowhards are the first to demand “states” rights” like all good Confederates do. Then, they have the balls to stomp all over other states’ rights. You’ll notice that not a single square inch of TX land was taken by eminent domain for Keystone. Why? If TX and Calgary’s CanOil are so hotsy totsy with each other, why is it okay for TX to scoop up land in other states by not TX?

    And, British Columbia refused to allow Alberta to run Keystone through their province declaring it back in 2004 “an environmental disaster” waiting to happen. Already parts of the Alberta Bow River near Lac la Biche is polluted thanks to a spill.

    If you think there’s no tie to GOP governors all hot to hand over water rights to private companies, think again. Alberta will expect millions of gallons of water to flush oil from sand..That’s what I saw in Hardisty…a dozen water cannons spewing millions of gallons of water as an oil/water/sand separator.

  11. Virginia Cusick February 4, 2015

    REPUBS have stated that they will NOT require any of the STEEL, or the PIPES to be made in America, {southern portion of pipes are already in the ground} the OIL is NOT American, the LAND that will be STOLEN IS American, the REFINERY that the KXL oil is going to IS NOT American {Saudi’s own it} the OIL is NOT going to America, the CLEAN UP OF THE SPILLS IS AMERICAN TAXPAYER RESPONSIBILITY! If all these facts are correct then WHY ISN’T EVERY CITIZEN IN EVERY STATE THE PIPES GO THRU GETTING A CUT OF THE PROFIT LIKE IN ALASKA? DEMAND IT! {and anyone who loses land to Canadian co’s should get a larger cut} Why is Canadian LAND & WATER TOO PRISTINE FOR THE PIPELINE BUT AMERICA IS UP FOR GRABS? DEMAND YOUR CUT OF THE PROFITS!


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