Climate Change Energy Environment Policy

Obama’s Keystone XL Veto Doesn’t Mean What You Think

For most of President Obama’s White House tenure, the country has been waiting for his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. This week, we got a Presidential veto on a bill that would green light the project, and our long wait… continues.

Here’s why. Obama’s veto came because he saw the bill Congress’ “attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

In other words, the President didn’t tell the Congress “no,” he told them, “you don’t get to make this decision, I do. And I’m still thinking about it.”

This is the judicial equivalent of a mistrial or a foul with a full count in baseball. This is the day after a super first date when the phone rings, and it’s your dentist’s office confirming tomorrow’s appointment. You baked a birthday cake for your boss and then found out she’s allergic to cats.

It doesn’t change anything. Something really good or really bad could have happened, but it didn’t. We’re in the same place we were before. Waiting.

The State Department has been reviewing the Keystone proposal for six years, and we’re still waiting to find out if the President thinks it’s in the national interest to increase the flow of expensive, dirty fuel into the U.S. America is ready for an answer (as long as it’s no), not a VINO (veto in name only).

This isn’t rocket science, folks. Still, it’s worth noting that 99% of all rocket scientists agree that the Keystone XL pipeline is a bad idea.