Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline

President Barack Obama, exercising his veto power for the first time in five years, rejected on Tuesday a measure green-lighting the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

After the President's official veto message was received in the Senate at about 3:30 p.m., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the veto override will happen no later than next Tuesday.

The measure, which passed the Republican controlled House and Senate earlier this month, would have bypassed an administration review of the oil pipeline project, which if completed would transport oil from tar sands in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

The veto leaves the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period.

The US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after receiving Obama's veto message, immediately countered by announcing the Republican-led chamber would attempt to override it by 3 March. Despite their majority, Republicans are four votes short of being able to overturn Obama's veto.

Obama, who rejected the bill hours after it was sent to the White House, said the measure unwisely bypassed a State Department process that will determine whether the project would be beneficial to the United States.

"Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest," he wrote in his veto message.

Edited from various sources by Elizabeth Corner

Sources: CNNReuters

Published on 26/02/2015

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