Senate Keystone XL Backers Fail to Override Presidential Veto

Stop Dirty Tar Sands, March 4, 2015

Americans want Congress to move on from their dirty tar sands pet project

Today, backers of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline failed to garner enough votes in the Senate to override President Obama’s veto of controversial legislation that would have forced approval of the pipeline.

With this failure, it is clear that the time has come for Congress to give up their relentless push to support a foreign oil company at the expense of our land, water, and climate. Recent polling has shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that if President Obama decides that Keystone XL is not in the national interest, Congress should accept that decision and move on to other issues facing the country, rather than continuing attempts to force the Administration to issue a permit.

Republicans’ continued posturing about their determination to see the tar sands pipeline built proves how disconnected they are with the wishes of the American people, and how much they value big oil’s profits over American interests.

Indigenous, environmental, and landowner groups responded to today’s vote by urging President Obama to put a stop to this legislative debacle once and for all by moving quickly to reject Keystone XL.

Danielle Droitsch, Director of NRDC’s Canada Project: “This dirty tar sands oil pipeline is simply not in America’s national interest; and this new Congress should stop wasting its time and start acting in ournational interest.”

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Senate Republicans have shown just how out of touch they are with the priorities of American families with their repeated attempts to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The decision to deny this dangerous project belongs to President Obama alone, and we are confident he has all he needs to reject it once and for all.”

Jane Kleeb, Bold Nebraska: “At some point Republicans have to know when to fold ‘em and walk away. Gambling with our water and property rights by trying over and over again to shove Keystone down our throats shows how the Republicans value Big Oil interests over anything else. Pres. Obama has farmers, ranchers, Tribal Nations and environmentalists all standing with him to protect our land and water.”

Gene Karpinski, President of League of Conservation Voters: “It is time Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner move on from this tired political fight to approve the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline. The Senators who stood with the president and opposed this veto override attempt deserve credit for knowing Americans want us to move on to real solutions – like growing clean energy.  As the President said in his State of the Union address, ‘We must set our sights higher than a single pipeline.’”

Bill Snape with the Center for Biological Diversity: “It’s time to end this political game, reject Keystone XL and move on with projects that will fix our climate, protect our environment and move us toward cleaner energy. The decision on the future Keystone XL is squarely in President Obama’s hands and we’re counting on him to keep his promise and reject it once and for all.”

Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth: “Republican leadership has now wasted months of debate posturing on issues that don’t impact the real challenges of our time.”

Anna Aurilio, Environment America: “Good riddance to this dangerous Keystone XL legislation, and many thanks to the senators who stood up for the environment and our kids’ future by voting it down. Now that they’ve failed to force approval of this harmful pipeline, it’s time for congressional leaders to turn the page and stop doing the polluters’ dirty work.”

David Turnbull, Campaigns Director, Oil Change International: “Today’s failed vote is just another example of a corrupt Congress trying to please its Big Oil Benefactors. Nothing more, nothing less. Keystone XL backers continue to trot out the same tired talking points spoon-fed to them by the industry. Meanwhile the facts remain the same: Keystone XL fails the climate test and should be rejected.” U.S. Communications Manager Karthik Ganapathy: “This vote does to Keystone XL what Jim Inhofe’s snowball does to the overwhelming consensus on climate change: absolutely nothing. Congress has known from the beginning this bill would be dead on arrival — a fact even Denier-in-Chief Inhofe acknowledged when he said last week that Big Oil simply doesn’t have the votes to override. Keystone XL has always been President Obama’s decision, today does nothing to change that, and we’re confident the President will do right by our climate and reject the pipeline once and for all.”

5 Issues/yr — $25 print; $15 digital