President Obama was asked about Keystone XL during his year end press conference and the he responded by tearing the Republican Party’s Keystone XL lies to shreds while sending the strongest signal yet that he will veto the bill Republicans are expected to pass authorizing construction of the pipeline next month.
The president said,
At issue in Keystone is not American oil. It is Canadian oil that is drawn out of tar sands in Canada. That oil currently is being shipped out through rail or trucks and it would save Canadian oil companies and the Canadian oil industry an enormous amount of money if they could simply pipe it through the United States and all the way down to the Gulf. Once that oil gets to Gulf, it is then entering into the world market and it would be sold all around the world.
So there is no. I won’t say no. There is very little impact, nominal impact on US gas prices, what the average American consumer cares about, by having this pipeline come though. And sometimes the way this gets sold is, let’s get this oil and it’s going to come here and the implication is that it’s going to lower gas prices here in the United States. It’s not. There’s a global oil market. It’s very good for Canadian oil companies and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry, but it’s not going to be a huge benefit to US consumers. It’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to US consumers.
Obama said that the construction of the pipeline itself will probably create a couple of thousand jobs that are temporary until the construction ends. The president said that country could create hundreds of thousands of jobs if the Congress would authorize infrastructure spending instead of a few thousand temporary jobs with Keystone XL.
The big Republican lie has always been that the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will lower gas prices and make the United States energy independent. As the president explained, it is impossible for a pipeline of Canadian oil that will be sold on the world market to lower gas prices and make the US energy independent.
The United States will get a couple of thousand temporary jobs, and a great deal of environmental risk out of the construction of the pipeline. The president called out the Republican Party’s biggest lies on the project and signaled that if Congress passes a bill authorizing the construction of Keystone XL, he will veto it.
Mitch McConnell has said that a bill authorizing the construction of Keystone XL will be the first piece of legislation that Republican controlled Senate takes up next month. Judging from the president’s remarks today, Republicans should be expecting a presidential veto.