The White House revealed on Tuesday that President Barack Obama will veto congressional legislation to create the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“I can confirm for you that if this bill passes this Congress, the president wouldn’t sign it,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters during his daily media briefing.
Republicans took full control of Congress this week and vowed to make the legislation a priority.
“The first item up in the new Senate will be the Keystone XL pipeline, the Hoeven bill,” promised the new majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
The Keystone bill previously failed in a high-profile showdown at the end of last year. Although a number of Democrats supported the bill, it did not achieve enough votes to overcome a filibuster.
Obama, a longtime critic of the pipeline, has repeatedly dismissed the argument that the Keystone project will create jobs. At a December press conference, Obama said the pipeline was not “a magic formula to what ails the US economy.”
Environmental advocates immediately cheered the White House’s announcement.
“This is a tribute to the millions of people who have made this one of the center pieces of a fast growing climate movement,” said Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, which has passionately opposed the pipeline. “So far their desire to protect the land and climate have been a match for the fountains of dirty money that constitute the oil industry’s only real argument.”
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