January 6, 2015 8:46 pm
Updated: January 6, 2015 8:53 pm

White House issues veto threat on Keystone pipeline bill


WATCH ABOVE: The Keystone XL pipeline project was front and centre as the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The GOP wants it approved, but President Obama vowed to use his veto. Jackson Proskow reports.

WASHINGTON – The White House says President Barack Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline.

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A bill that would have forced Obama’s hand on the issue failed to clear Congress in its final days last year.

READ MORE: White House lets suspense linger as Keystone pipeline saga reaches critical chapter

But the Congress that convened Tuesday is Republican-controlled and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the pipeline bill will be among the first issues voted on.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says he does not expect Obama would sign any Keystone legislation that reaches his desk.

The spokesman says there is a “well-established” review process that is being run by the State Department that should not be undermined by legislation.

Earnest also says the pipeline’s route through Nebraska also must be resolved.

Alberta’s premier remains hopeful.

“I continue to be encouraged by the level of broad public and bipartisan support in the United States that is developing around the Keystone XL pipeline project,” said Jim Prentice in a statement.

“Alberta is committed to responsible energy development, which firmly positions us as a safe, secure and responsible energy supplier and we will continue to advocate on behalf of Keystone XL.

“I will be traveling to Washington within the next month to communicate that this project is in the best interests of Canadians and Americans alike and to provide facts about the environmental standards of our oil and gas industry, which are among the highest in the world.

“This government will continue our efforts to realize the potential of our energy resources and reach out to global markets.”

With files from Global News

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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