GOP-Dominated House Just Voted On Bill To Approve Keystone Pipeline So Obama Can Veto It


The House voted Friday to approve construction of Keystone XL, an oil pipeline that supporters say will create thousands of jobs in the U.S. According to The Hill, the final vote tally was 266-153, which means that 28 Democrats voted in favor of the pipeline. The bill now goes to the Senate, where its fully expected to pass, and be sent to the White House.

The House does not yet have enough of a majority on the legislation to override a veto. If Obama makes good on his threat (which he will), it would derail approval. Congressional Republicans, along with a few Democrats, it seems, would rather continue to grease the palms of the oil industry than stand for whats rightand refuse Keystone XLs approval.

The Senate might be able to override a veto, though. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said, according to the Washington Times, that he believes the Senate will have the necessary two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto. Manchin is one of Keystone XLs more staunch supporters in the Senate.


The U.S. wont reap any benefits at all from Keystone XL, which is one of the reasons Obama will veto the legislation when it hits his desk. The oil brought from Canadas tar sands down to the Gulf via the pipeline is not for us, so it wont increase our supply, and wont help keep our oil and gas prices down. In fact, the group Consumer Watchdog says that the pipeline actually has the potential to raise our gas prices. Their research shows that the end game is cheap oil for Asia, which can increase their demand, which raises oil prices overall, which raises our gasoline prices. The Midwest would be the hardest hit.

Also, this doesnt have the potential to create the jobs that supporters say it does. According to Politifact, while construction of Keystone XL could result in thousands of temporary jobs (running a year or less), the actual number of permanent jobs is closer to 50. So much for a much-needed injection into our permanent, well-paying jobs market.

Environmentally, tar sands oil is among the dirtiest, most carbon intensive fossil fuels on the planet. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been screaming for measures to address climate change now, which means phasing out tar sands extraction, among other things.

Since Canada has said that theyll look for other ways to transport oil from the tar sands if we dont build Keystone XL (hence the State Department report saying that blocking the pipeline wont stop tar sands extraction), then refusing to build it on those grounds alone is kind of silly. However, when it comes to spill risk, one analysis has found that Trans Canada expects nearly 2 spills per year, with a large spill (more than 1,000 barrels) occurring, on average, once every eight years. Thats hardly rare, and it is dangerous.


Over the course of a decade, aggregate spill volume, if there are no horrific accidents, would be about 8,000 barrels of oil. This may not sound like much, but the Heartland has some of our most fertile land. Contaminating it with even small, but repetitive, oil spills from Keystone XL, is one of the worst ideas in the long, sad history of bad ideas.

When we get right down to brass tacks, Keystone XL represents no advantage to the U.S. None. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. The Senate might be able to override a veto, but the House may not, and both chambers need to be able to do that in order to force it through anyway. Good luck with this, GOP (and the select Democrats who also think Keystone is a good idea).

Featured image by Jmcdaid Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


‘s rights and workers’ rights, and she’s an avid animal rights and welfare activist as well. Rika has a serious problem with tea party politics, as she believes that the best solutions to the world’s problems come from groups of people who don’t all think the same way. The tea party is so conservative that not only are they racist, misogynist, classist, selfish, and such fear-mongerers that they vote against their own interests, but they do not believe in working with the “enemy” either. Rika’s hatred of tea party politics and the idea that cooperating means colluding with some “enemy” is what really prompted her to start writing on liberal politics.

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Rika Christensen

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Rika Christensen

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  • Steven Duran

    Its a waste of time. .itll line the pockets for some. ..hmmm?


  • disillusioned

    Hmm.. no one commenting on this one. They dont want to show how much of a split there is between the progressive mafia and liberals.


  • Roger Bettelyoun

    Why do they not just use the ole we will leave it up to the individual states line they use in so many other issues that is their job? However, if they do that to this issue, it would pass smoothly as it goes right through so many RED states and a number of these red states contain Native American reservations. Having been given the short end of the stick…HELL I will tell the truth…Native Americans have been F****d since the beginning of the European Invasion through the American Holocaust and nothing has changed since then.
    Whatever happens, this just cannot be allowed to be constructed. I just wish the politicians backing this project would be straight up honest about WHY they insist on this being built when they ALL know what a dangerous and risky project it will end up being. While we all KNOW money that is going to exchange hands, it would be interesting…MANDATORY actually to be advised of who is taking part of this windfall for Congress and Senate. As if they are not making enough money already, this is now in their sights. I am sure many are already spending the $$$ they expect to receive.
    At present. there is nothing more destructive than Keystone. It will ruin the water, land, wildlife and human life. Humans will contract so many diseases, namely cancer from exposure to the gunk that NO living creatures should have contact with.