Opponents of the project, primarily environmentalists and landowners, are urging the president to veto the bill. The legislation passed the House of Representatives on Friday and will likely be approved by the now Republican-controlled Senate in the coming days. However, the Republicans, who view the project as one of their top priorities, don’t have the necessary 67 votes to override the presidential veto.
"When you take a punch, you stand up and keep on fighting. We continue to stand with President Obama in his skepticism of the export pipeline and encourage him to reject Keystone XL now," said Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, as quoted by the Washington Times. "The only decision that will bring peace of mind to landowners is watching the president use the power of the pen to stop this risky pipeline once and for all," she added.
"The president should immediately resume the national interest determination that he needlessly suspended last year, and Democrats in Congress must stop all the excuses and end the shameful politics used to block Keystone. They should join in a bipartisan manner to approve the project and create jobs," said Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, as quoted by the Washington Times. "It’s time to move forward to unlock energy and good construction careers."
Obama will soon be forced to make a decision on the project. Currently, the administration is still waiting for the US State Department to announce whether the project is in the national interest. The agency suspended its review while the Nebraska lawsuit was ongoing and is yet to provide its assessment.
The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to carry crude oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to refineries to the US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.