President Obama vetoed the bill approved by Congress, stating it circumvented the existing process for dealing with TransCanada’s request for a presidential permit to cross the northern border to build the $8 billion oil pipeline from western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.
Fortenberry says Congress is powerless to overturn the veto.
“Don’t think there are the votes in the Senate to overcome the veto, so I guess the oil continues to move by rail and create additional hazards from that perspective,” Fortenberry tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The fate of Keystone XL reverts back to that existing process. The Obama Administration continues to review TransCanada’s application. The State Department has conducted an environmental review. It has received input from other federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency.
Once its review is completed, the State Department will make a recommendation to President Obama, who has the final say.
Fortenberry says State Department analysis, away from the political theatre Keystone XL has created, could convince the president to approve the project.
“It could be that after those final assessments are done, again, more objective analysis says no, all the environmental concerns are reasonably satisfied and it would put more pressure on the president to go forward with this, but I simply don’t have the answer,” Fortenberry says.
Fortenberry says he’s disappointed the president vetoed the Keystone bill. Fortenberry says Keystone will create jobs, but more importantly would lead the country toward more reliance on North American oil and less on that from the Middle East.