The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a House bill designed to approve building the Keystone pipeline, saying President Obama should have final say over the controversial project to bring oil from Canada to the U.S.
“Because [the bill] seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by removing the presidential permitting requirement for the Keystone XL pipeline project, if presented to the president, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill,” the White House budget office said in a statement of policy.
House Republicans are preparing to vote on the chamber floor this week on a bill that would declare that the president doesn’t need to approve the pipeline, and deem a previous environmental assessment to be good enough.
Last year Mr. Obama’s State Department halted permits for the pipeline, igniting a furious battle with Congress, where most Republicans and even many Democrats say the oil project is a jobs-creator that could help the U.S. wean itself from overseas oil.
Congress passed legislation ordering Mr. Obama to make a final decision on whether to permit the pipeline. Under those constraints, Mr. Obama rejected the pipeline, arguing he was worried about environmental damage in Nebraska.