15:12 GMT29 October 2020
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    Both supporters and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline urged US President Barack Obama to take a stand on the controversial infrastructure project.

    MOSCOW, January 13 (Sputnik) – US President Barack Obama is being pressured to decide the fate of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project after Nebraska’s Supreme Court approved the route, eliminating the last major obstacle to approve or reject the bill.

    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.

    Following the Nebraska court ruling, House speaker John Boehner said that Obama is "out of excuses for blocking the Keystone pipeline and the thousands of American jobs it would create," as quoted by the Guardian. TransCanada, the company that will build the pipeline, expressed hope that Obama’s decision will be in favor of the project, according to the newspaper.

    "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."

    President Barack Obama arriving at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing
    © AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File
    The benefits of constructing the pipeline are modest, according to the New Yorker. However, "from the White House’s perspective, the Keystone XL pipeline should be an ideal policy to give away in a trade: it’s a major issue that Republicans care a great deal about but one that Obama seems to view as a sideshow," the magazine noted.

    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.

    Related:

    Boehner Says Obama Ignores Americans Interests on Keystone Pipeline Project
    US to Benefit From Keystone Pipeline Bill Approval: Senator
    Native Americans Call on Obama to Block Keystone Pipeline
    Obama: Keystone Pipeline Will Not Affect US Gas Prices
    Tags:
    oil pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, oil, Republican Party (United States), US
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