Keystone pipeline protest, August 22, 2011. By chesapeakeclimate (8/22/11Uploaded by Ekabhishek) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Keystone pipeline protest, August 22, 2011. By chesapeakeclimate (8/22/11Uploaded by Ekabhishek) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Although Senate sponsors will deny it, the passage of a bill to force the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would deliver petroleum from the tar sands of Canada to a port in the Gulf of Mexico, was largely symbolic. President Obama has repeatedly promised he would veto the measure and promised again following the Senate vote. The House passed a similar bill November 14.

However, it is not certain whether the president’s resolve is based on constitutional or environmental reasons.

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Obama, who currently retains authority to approve or deny the permitting of the pipeline because it crosses an international border, is expected to veto the bill because it would remove his executive authority to make the final decision.

But pressure is mounting on him from both sides to at last make that decision, which has been pending since he first took office.

Mr. Obama has repeatedly said that he was waiting for all reviews and processes to be completed before he made a final decision. In 2013, Mr. Obama said that his verdict on the pipeline would be based on whether or not its construction would worsen climate change. But an 11-volume State Department environmental review of the proposed pipeline, released last year, concluded that its construction would not significantly increase the rate of planet-warming pollution into the atmosphere.

For the full Times article follow this link.