Keystone XL Pipeline: President Obama set for showdown after vetoing Republican bill


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President Barack Obama has vetoed a bill forcing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline – setting himself up for a showdown with Republican opponents.

The White House announced on Tuesday that it has sent notice of the veto to the Senate, shortly after the bill was received by the president. It is the third veto of Mr Obama’s presidency.

The move puts a freeze on what had become a major priority for the Republicans who now control both houses of Congress, the Associated Press said

For now its reasserts Mr Obama's authority over a project that's become a flashpoint in the national debate about climate change. But the Republican leader in the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell, said they would try and override the president’s veto no later than March 3rd.

The Republicans will need to secure a two-thirds majority in both chambers to overturn the veto. Senator John Hoeven, the bill’s chief Republican sponsor, says Republicans are about four votes short in the Senate and need about eleven more in the House.

The proposed Keystone XL pipe is a 1,200 mile extension of an already existing pipe network owned by the TransCanada Corporation that transports crude oil from Canada to US refineries on the Gulf Coast. The network of pipes would total 3,800 miles.