On Tuesday, President Obama vetoed a bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The move was widely expected and sets the stage for potential override votes in the House and Senate.
The pipeline might still get a green light from the president, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest, but he stressed that Obama would not sign off on the project until the State Department’s assessment was complete. From the Washington Post:
Earnest said the reason Obama [vetoed] the bill is because it goes around the State Department review and “circumvents a longstanding administrative process for evaluating whether or not infrastructure projects like this are in the best interest of the country.”
“It certainly is possible the president will keep an open mind as the State Department considers the wide range of impacts this pipeline could have on the country, both positive and negative,” Earnest said.
Republican leaders in both chambers took to Twitter to decry the president’s rejection of the “Keystone XL jobs bill.”
The estimate of how many jobs the pipeline is predicted to create depends heavily on the source, with some supporters claiming it will put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in the energy sector and the State Department claiming that once construction is done, only 35 positions will be needed for maintenance and inspection.