Republicans in the U.S. House may soon try to force action on the Keystone XL oil pipeline after President Barack Obama last week rejected the pipeline’s permit.
Some of his environmental and safety concerns stemmed from the pipeline’s original proposed route through Nebraska’s Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer.
Congressman Steve King, a Republican from western Iowa, says there could be legislation to move the pipeline ahead, but he says the president still stands in the way.
“Anything we might pass through congress faces a presidential veto and requires a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto,” King says. “That’s possible that that could happen in the House of Representatives, but it’s very, very unlikely that it would happen in the Senate.”
King says there is an alternative to get around the president’s decision.
He says,” My suggestion would be this — and it might be a bit of brash recommendation — that we really just need the permit, everything else is cleared as I understand this, we need the permit to go across the border with Canada. Why not just build that pipeline right on up there to Canada and lay that last section of pipe out there on ground in the United States. I’ll go up there myself and swing that piece into place when we have a president that’ll sign that agreement with Canada.”
King says President Obama’s decision to stop the pipeline was a political one made under pressure from environmentalists.
Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City