On Tuesday, the White House stated that President Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“If this bill passes this Congress the president won’t sign it,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
Late last year Congress nearly passed a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil from the heavily polluting tar sands down to the Gulf Coast. Republicans, now in control of both chambers, have made passing such legislation a priority starting on Tuesday as Congress convened its new session.
On Tuesday the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee cancelled Wednesday’s planned hearing on the pipeline project as Democrats objected to procedural moves that had been used to set it up early.
Earnest said there is a “well-established” State Department review underway and that legislation would undermine that process. Earnest cited the ongoing litigation in Nebraska as the primary reason that Obama would not sign Keystone legislation. A decision from the Nebraska Supreme Court, which will determine whether or not Keystone XL’s current route through Nebraska is valid, is expected to come on a Friday in the coming weeks or months.