With Keystone veto, Obama’s suddenly all about the separation of powers

Obama Speaks

As expected, if still inexplicably, President Obama yesterday vetoed a congressional authorization for building the long-discussed Keystone XL pipeline. Obama’s decision is a dud on environmental grounds: Canada is still going to develop the oil-sands resources that would supply the pipeline, only it’ll ship the crude elsewhere (probably China) using rail, which is riskier than a pipeline. It’s a dud on economic grounds: Argue all you want about the total number of jobs created (and Democrats have no such qualms about maximizing job counts when it comes to public infrastructure programs) but the pipeline would lead to a lot of construction jobs and more permanent jobs than zero — which is what not building the pipeline will produce.

But the real whopper from Obama came in his veto statement, which reads in part:

“The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto.”

See that? All of a sudden, President Executive Order is concerned about one branch of government infringing on another’s powers.

What is it Obama has said time and again to explain his 180-degree turn on an executive order for immigration? Something about how Congress had plenty of time to act but didn’t. And how long has the Obama administration been stalling on the Keystone XL pipeline? Six years.

It’s the latest sign Obama intends to spend his last two years in office trolling Congress — and the rest of us — instead of seeking common ground.

Reader Comments 0

134 comments
DeborahinAthens
DeborahinAthens

Interesting, Kyle that one of the ads on the right of your posting is a TransCanada ad that says "pipelines are good..." Bias? This is not a typical pipeline. It will be transporting corrosive sands that will, most likely cause more leaks than pipelines moving liquid oil or natural gas. The energy companies and Canada doesn't give a rats a--about our aguifers. Try drinking oil infused water or watch your farmland be destroyed by something like this. But, as we see with Kyle's ad, we are easily bought and paid for.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

There is something seriously wrong with this president. Time and time again, he is absorbed in and by his own words. It's as if he's eating himself alive.

Weird! 

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

If someone wanted to build an oil pipeline over Lake Lanier, I'll bet you would be singing a different tune.


Canadians can builds their pipeline in Canada.  Canadian businessmen do not run the United States.  Republicans have been paid handsomely to back this, but it's just dumb.  All the risk with no benefits.

WilJohnson
WilJohnson

This pipeline has been held up primarily by Nebraska. Three of the six year delay was caused by the effort to force TransCanada to choose a route other than through the sensitive Sandhills area of Nebraska. TransCanada designed an alternate route which now affects one of the largest aquifers in the US and also Indian tribal lands. For the last two years this new group of landowners and stakeholders has fought a foreign company's right to take US land by imminent domain.


10 days ago a Nebraska judge ruled that their case must be settled before this pipeline can be built in Nebraska, nothing to do with whatever Obama chooses to to or not do.


As a conservative, I'll stick with American landowners on this one until the Nebraska Supreme Court rules otherwise.

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

@WilJohnson

Thanks Wil. It's crazy how the facts get overlooked in order frame the meme for a ravenous audience, hungry for red meat.

HarryCrews
HarryCrews

@Infraredguy

If the the President signed the bill, the complaining would be in regards to all the union pipe fitter jobs the project created.

MarkVV
MarkVV

The President has acted absolutely appropriately on both technical and constitutional grounds. When Kyle writes that the President vetoed the congressional authorization “inexplicably,’ he only demonstrated his ignorance of the process.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@MarkVV So Obama holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree and can pass on the technical aspects of the Keystone? I guess that's goes hand in hand with his unmatched Understanding of the Constitution. What a guy 

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@MarkVV

When you write that Obozo has acted appropriately, you only demonstrate that you're a sucker for any excuse he gives you for ignoring the science and the economics of the pipeline.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Infraredguy @MarkVV 

Another inanity - how many have we seen today? President Obama has not said or done anything about the technical aspects of Keystone, and will not do that. Those are being investigated by appropriate agencies, a process that has not been concluded.  

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Obama is an ecoterrorist with the rabid tree huggers pulling his strings led by Steyer.


He's also full of illogical BS such as "cuts short."  How much longer does he need?  Four State Department reviews and 6 years is not enough for him?


No, Obama and Keystone can be summed up like this - you know he's lying if his lips are moving. 

Shar1
Shar1

The Koch Brothers benefit hugely from this pipeline. Trans Canada benefits.  The US, not so much. 


Thirty five permanent jobs in return for allowing a foreign entity to exercise eminent domain confiscation over privately owned American land.  Thirty five jobs in return for the near-certainty of a large volume spill, with no legal recourse to force either the Koches or Canada to clean it up - as demonstrated by their record of refusal.


This pipeline is a disaster waiting to happen, with no benefit to the US excepting the two rich boys in Wichita.  I really cannot understand why the Republicans are so eager to rush past the environmental assessment period and usurp the president's prerogative on this issue when it is such a clear loser for our own country.


The Canadians can put a pipeline or a dedicated rail route or whatever else they want through their own country.  They want to hand us the risk and keep all the profit for themselves (excepting those pesky American brothers who are the largest leaseholders).  There is no reason to support this.  The president is absolutely right to veto it, and the Republicans utterly wrong to push.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@Shar1 35 permanent jobs ? where did you get that revelation  from Nancy Pelosi ? it take many more people than 35 to maintain a 2000 mile pipeline plus hundreds to manufacture the pipe, transport it to the site. The only approved API Code US manufacture of this type of pipe is Berg Pipe in Panama City Florida, go tell those people their jobs are not important. Your assessment of the pipeline is textbook Liberal spin, you would not know a API code pipe if you stumbled over it. 

SES21
SES21

@Shar1 Well put & to the point! The Republicans are so eager because what helps the Koch Brothers helps the GOP get still more money from them.

EdUktr
EdUktr

What do you expect? On amnesty for illegals the Republican leadership in the U.S. Senate is showing they won't confront executive overreach.

Tough talk is clearly only for campaigns.

Penses
Penses

@Kyle_Wingfield 


"I didn't say he was lying. I said he was being ridiculous, ideological and hypocritical."


Stop being "politically correct", Kyle. People who push or subscribe or bow to PC are, in my view, straining out nats while swallowing camels.


Here is what Obama himself said nearly two years ago:


"I know there’s been, for example, a lot of controversy surrounding the proposal to build a pipeline — the Keystone pipeline, that would carry oil from Canadian tar sands down to refineries in the Gulf. The State Department is going through the final stages of evaluating the proposal. That’s how it’s always been done.


But I do want to be clear. Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. It’s relevant."


And here, as I quoted earlier, is how a columnist summarizes the results of government studies that would inform and State Department decision:


"The State issued a finding over a year ago that the pipeline project would be neutral on climate change and would not have a serious impact on the environment. That was actually the second time in two years the State Department reached that conclusion."


Ergo, Obama lied. Just like he did with respect to his position on gay marriage during his initial presidential run, just as he did with respect to transparnecy in government, just as he did with respect to the ACA and so on and so on. He is a near pathological liar, in my view. At least Gruber learned from saying stupid things on tape. Obama never has. And there is a reason for that. And it is pathological in nature.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Penses I'm not being "P.C." at all, nor do I think you've caught him in a lie about the reason for his veto, which of course is what we were talking about.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Penses @Kyle_Wingfield 

Ergo, you do not know what you are talking about, and neither does you columnist.  The State Department has opened a 30-day comment period on Feb. 5, and the agencies will have 90 days to weigh in. After a decision is issued, other agencies have 15 days to object. If one does, the president must decide whether to issue the permit. People like you, who call the President a liar without evidence are contemptible.


Penses
Penses

A very indicting column, Kyle. You have shown, once again and as most anyone with clear vision can see, that Barack Obama is both a liar and a hypocrite. Here are some similar observations from another piece:


"With this level of general agreement [in Congress and in polls] on a significant issue, one might think that a president who wants to find ways to “work together” with Republicans on bipartisan initiatives, as Obama repeatedly promised, would have signed the Keystone XL bill. That, however, assumes that Obama wants to “work together,” and actually supports moderate and bipartisan initiatives...


The Obama administration has been dismissive of [the claim that the bill would produce jobs], pointing out that the jobs would be temporary. That’s true – but the mythical “shovel-ready jobs” from Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan were just as temporary, if not more so, being mostly generated in public-infrastructure maintenance that only lasted a few months to a year...


We fought and defeated Nazi Germany and imperial Japan simultaneously in less than four years. In this case, State issued a finding over a year ago that the pipeline project would be neutral on climate change and would not have a serious impact on the environment. That was actually the second time in two years the State Department reached that conclusion. Congress didn’t attempt to circumvent the process; they want Obama to quit stalling."


source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/keystone-xl-veto-demonstrates-obama-091500666.html


Boy, do I HATE unrepentant liars, people who knowingly persist in telling lies and justify it by whatever means they can.


Look, no one in their right mind wants to needlessly imperil our environment. And it is a proven fact (unlike claims of anthropogenic global warming) that oil companies have spoiled out environment time and again. They should bend over backwards almost to the point of absurdity to show that they have done EVERYTHING to ensure the safety of people and the environment with respect to the pipeline. And if that were Obama's stated and fully articulated position, I would supoort it. But all we get is more BS from the Used-Car-Salesman-in-Chief.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Penses  Look, no one in their right mind wants to needlessly imperil our environment.


But that is exactly what you are proposing. We dont need this pipeline built for TransCanada's benefit.


We are taking all the risk ( Environment ) while they reap the financial reward. 


And when this pipeline spills do you think Transcanada is going to pay to clean it up ? Think again.


Us taxpayers will.  

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Oil is falling,  they wouldn't build it anyway,  you just are a rock thrower....

MarkVV
MarkVV

I wonder if Kyle realizes how easily – and amusingly – his main argument can be turned around: After all the noise the Republicans have been making about separation of power and Obama encroaching on theirs, now they would want to complain about his legitimate rejection of their encroachment on his?


Some other Kyle’ arguments are just as amusing: “…more permanent jobs than zero — which is what not building the pipeline will produce.”  We are supposed to make such a decision based on the “not zero” number of jobs?


As for Kyle’s complaint that it has taken the Administration six years already to make a decision – I have not seen any evidence that Kyle is qualified to make a judgment on how long such a technical and scientific decision should take.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@MarkVV

The State Department made the decision long ago.  Obama didn't like their decision and reversed it.  And now we wait, and wait, and wait while the regime stalls.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Infraredguy @MarkVV 


First, how do you know that? So that was your first inanity. And the second -  I have never claimed that I was, and never made such a comment one way or another.

Elvez
Elvez

@MarkVV now they would want to complain about his legitimate rejection of their encroachment on his?  


No one is complaining about Obama's  use of veto power.  That's the way the constituition works.  What is ludicrous is Obama's reasoning as to why he vetoed it.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Obama is just proving once again to be the hypocrite that he is along with most of the Democratic Party. The pipeline is the safest way to transport oil products but the Environmental nut cases don't care that trains are already transporting the oil AND contributing more pollutants to the atmosphere than would ever come from a pipeline, they only care about their agenda and to hell with any jobs created. Canada will keep developing the oil sands and will sell the oil on the world market no matter what the Environmental goofballs say, as they rightfully should.  Obama and his Posse only care about forcing the American people to accept the Liberal Environmental agenda no matter what it cost which impacts the poor and middle class the most. You can be sure Obama cares not how much it cost to fuel up Air Force One to take him on a golf trip or vacation.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Another reason I don't support these oil pipelines is folks like TransCanada and Exxon will tell you how safe it is and that they will clean it up when there is a problem,


But they dont. Exxon never cleaned up the Valdez spill.


They made it look like they were but after that they know they can just keep it tied up in court forever. They haven't paid all the fines. 


If this pipeline burst in Nebraska do you think TransCanada is gonna clean it up. Or pay any fines.


They wont. I assure you. 


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/06/15/206151/the-exxon-valdez-spill-bp-escrow/



Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Infraredguy @HeadleyLamar You are typical of the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement, all bluster and no facts,


I suggest you read the article. 


It is a FACT of the 5 billion in fines Exxon Mobile has paid around 500 million for the Exxon Valdez spill


Why ?


its cheaper for them to just keep it in court forever. 


That will happen again my friend if this pipeline bursts ( or when ) 

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@HeadleyLamar first I am not your friend and second forget about Exxon, it's not their pipeline you have made the claim that the pipeline will fail, tell me how and why as well as how it will invade the Ogallala.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@HeadleyLamar You are typical of the lunatic fringe of the environmental movement, all bluster and no facts,  you claim the Ogallala table is close or at ground level, well how " close " ?. What about the other pipelines that crisscross the same area ? What about the oil carrying train wrecks that happen like in West Virginia recently? How deep is the pipe line buried ? What is the alloy and average wall thickness of the pipeline? Come up with some proof that there will be a problem before spouting off. The BP Gulf spill turned out not to be the disaster that the Environmental gang predicted, fish populations have returned to the same levels as before the spill, I know I fish the Gulf every year for snapper and its never been better in the 25 years I have been fishing there.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

"Obama intends to spend his last two years in office trolling Congress — and the rest of us — instead of seeking common ground"

-------------

The Republicans who control both houses of Congress, and therefore the budget process, should spend the next two years punishing offending administrative departments with smaller budgets.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Jefferson1776 @LilBarryBailout

Yes, the Obama regime is very childlike.  That's why the adults need to punish them by taking away part of their allowance, as they've done with the IRS.

When the IRS can learn to do their jobs instead of wasting tax payer resources harassing Americans, we'll talk about restoring their funding.

Bruno2
Bruno2

Headley: For example Obamacare. Most DO NOT support repeal. Where you get the people OVERWHELMINGLY support repeal is simply beyond me.

My personal opinion is that public support will soar if a sensible replacement plan is proposed.  The best plan, IMO, is to segregate the high-end users of medical care into special high-risk pools that are funded via taxes at either the state or federal levels.  Then, people will be able to afford catastrophic coverage, which is what the Obamacare Bronze and Silver plans really are.  I would be willing to pay $100-$150 a month for such a plan, but am unwilling to shell out $360 a month for a Bronze plan which carries a $6500 deductible.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@LilBarryBailout @HeadleyLamar @Bruno2  I'm the sort that doesn't need and is not interested in any political party's "plan" for my health care.


Noted.


 You prefer the your own your own approach. 


That thinking is how we had about the 10th best healthcare system despite spending twice as much as everybody else. 

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@HeadleyLamar @LilBarryBailout @Bruno2

If we were tenth best we wouldn't be #1 in folks from around the world coming here when they want the best.

I suspect you've been reading those studies that rank health care systems higher if they're run by the government and everyone suffers equally.

Me, I'm only interested in the best.  Not the fairest.  Fair is for folks who can't pay their own way.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Bruno2

A sensible replacement plan would be...freedom.

Allow Americans to opt out of Obamacare and purchase whatever plan they like, designed to meet their needs rather than the politicians'.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@LilBarryBailout @Bruno2 You realize you can already buy individual plans from insurers, right? People are free to sign up for these other plans on their own.


However, to receive subsidies, you have to sign up through the ACA website. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@LilBarryBailout @Bruno2 A sensible replacement plan would be...freedom.


LOL. You are just the sort the GOP is looking for. They don't have to have a plan with folks like you if they can just use words like freedom etc.