Oil Wars: President Threatens Veto on Road Bill Over Keystone XL

Tori Noble, Staff Reporter

Despite several nasty campaign ads targeting Obama’s energy policy, the president vows to veto the TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline legislation. The proposal, contained in a standard roads improvement bill passed by the house of representatives, would allow TransCanada to build an oil pipeline that delivers crude oil from Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in Texas.

In February 2012, Obama vetoed an identical measure on the Keystone pipeline. He did so on the grounds that it may have negative environmental impacts, despite an extensive, 3-year Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study that concluded the opposite.

Many anti-Obama ads have ran citing this “weak excuse” (as one ad put it) as proof that the president is caving in to environmental lobbyists, who don’t want to see more “dirty” fossil fuels enter the United States, despite the growing demand.

The proponents of $7 billion pipeline project cite energy security and added American jobs as reasons for backing the bill so strongly despite its original defeat. Not only is the project expected to create over 200,000 jobs, it would also give the United States a significant oil source from a stable ally—reducing gas prices and inflation caused by high fuel costs—as well tempering the current, frequent price increases caused by Middle Eastern conflict.

Should the roads bill containing the Keystone XL approval mandate pass the senate as it did the house, the president will veto the measure, likely inviting dissent—and more negative ads. This election season, Americans need not look to the Middle East for wars on oil; they can find them on Capitol Hill.