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Alabama lawmakers slam Obama for Keystone XL veto: ‘He’s playing politics with jobs’

Photo: Flickr user Timothy Wildey
Photo: Flickr user Timothy Wildey

WASHINGTON — President Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would have transported up to 830,000 barrels of oil across the country every day, and provided up as many as 42,000 jobs, and Alabama’s Congressional delegation is less than enthused by the President’s decision.

This is the President’s first time to use the veto in 5 years.

The congressional authorization of Keystone XL had bipartisan support in both houses, including all 9 of Alabama’s congressional delegates—a rare occurrence—but President Obama promised a veto all along.

“The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,” President Obama said in his veto message. “But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto.”

The executive branch has been considering Keystone XL for six years.

Congressman Bradley Byrne released a statement shortly after the veto was made Tuesday, expressing his disdain for the President’s decision.

“President Obama decided to pick politics over jobs by vetoing bipartisan legislation to approve construction of the Keystone Pipeline,” Rep. Byrne said in the press release. “Even President Obama’s own State Department admits that the project would support approximately 42,100 jobs and found that there are no major environmental risks caused by constructing the pipeline. Instead of following the facts, the President chose to pander to the far-left environmental extremists instead of listening to a majority of the American people, who approve of the Keystone project.”

“Despite pledging to work with the new, Republican-controlled Congress, President Obama has now made clear that he has no interest in advancing commonsense solutions. That’s a disappointing development for all Americans.”

Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL6) urged the President to begin listening to the people instead of “the extreme environmental lobby.”

“America’s energy resources should be used responsibly to help grow our economy,” Rep. Palmer said. “But if we cannot build a simple pipeline because of the objections of the extreme environmental lobby, it hampers our ability to move forward in growing our energy sector. I urge the members of the House and Senate to listen to the American people, not special interest lobbyists with an extreme agenda, and override this veto.”

Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-AL2) said she was “disappointed, but not surprised” that Obama vetoed the plan.

“This project would create tens of thousands of jobs at a time when Americans need them,” Rep. Roby said in a press release Tuesday afternoon. “It would improve our ability to utilize North American sources of energy so we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It is a shame President Obama has looked past the proven benefits and rejected this bipartisan proposal in the name of politics.”

“It is the Obama Administration’s own foot-dragging on Keystone that made this legislation necessary. Now, with his veto, the buck for obstructing the Keystone Pipeline has stopped squarely on President Obama.”

This story will be updated as more comments come in.

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