Oklahoma Lawmakers Upset With XL Pipeline Veto

Tuesday, February 24th 2015, 11:26 pm
By: Tess Maune

President Obama has made it clear that he does not support completing a pipeline that runs through the heart of Oklahoma.

Tuesday he vetoed a bill to finish the controversial Keystone X-L Pipeline.

Some of the state's top Republican leaders are not happy with the president's veto, but said the fight is far from over.

Beneath the surface between Cushing, Oklahoma and the gulf coast of Texas is a pipeline that moves 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

It's basically the southern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline; a project that brought Obama to Pipeline Crossroads of the world three years ago.

“Today I'm directing my administration to cut the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority,” he said.

What has never been on the president's list of priorities is expanding the pipeline up north to connect Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

Tuesday he proved just that by vetoing the GOP-backed bill.

2/24/2015 Related Story: Obama Vetoes GOP-Backed Bill Approving Keystone Oil Pipeline

Obama said the measure "cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment."

Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford stand strong in support of overriding the decision.

Lankford said in a statement, "Our nation already has thousands of miles of pipeline flowing through it, which transports crude oil faster and safer than many of the alternatives."

Inhofe said the veto "denied Americans thousands of new, well-paying jobs and the opportunity to progress towards energy independence."

He also pointed to this comment Obama made on his trip to Oklahoma back in 2012:

“We're actually producing so much oil and gas in places like North Dakota and Colorado that we don't have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go.”

Inhofe called that "just another campaign stump speech" and said the president "did not intend to back up with real solutions."

The veto sends the issue back to Congress where lawmakers could override the decision.

Republicans would need support from two-thirds majority in both chambers to do that, and, at this point, they're about 16 votes short.