Keystone Oil Pipeline Project Adds to GOP-Obama Clash – Chinatopix
(Photo : REUTERS/Lane Hickenbottom) A TransCanada Keystone Pipeline station outside Steele City, Nebraska March 10, 2014.
More legislative issues continue to add to the clash between U.S. President Barack Obama and the Republican Party. The latest to be added on Thursday is the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project approved by the Senate on a 62-36 vote.
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Even if nine Democrats crossed party lines and sided with the GOP, if Obama vetoes the project as he had vowed, the project would still be disapproved because the Republicans don’t have the 67 votes needed to override the presidential veto, reports RT.com.
In pushing for the project initially proposed in 2008, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the $8-billion venture would boost the American economy and provide jobs for Americans. He added the project has minimal environmental impact.
The pipeline would transport oil from the tar sands in Canada to Nebraska, covering 1,179 miles. It would then connect to an existing pipeline in Nebraska, allowing the oil from Canada to flow further down south.
Obama had rejected the pipeline project in 2012, but TransCanada, the proponent, reapplied.
The president has the backing of green groups that oppose the tar sands’ dirty process that burns a lot of energy. Native Americans who live in Nebraska are also against the venture because the pipes would pass their land, while the State Department is still soliciting input from the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department on its environmental impact.
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer debunks the GOP’s claim that it would create a lot of jobs. He said it would create only 35 permanent jobs to maintain the pipes, pointing out, “a friend chicken franchise creates about as many jobs.”
McConnell had cited State Department figures that it would create 42,000 jobs.
California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer called the bill a disgrace and said the party tried to turn it into a better bill but was rejected by the GOP.