Congress Passes Keystone XL
Pipeline Legislation, President Vetoes
> FE W POLITICAL CONFLICTS are more
emblematic of congressional dysfunction
than the Keystone XL pipeline project. Its
long-embattled and weary proposal pages
have been batted around, and it’s become
a figurative partisan line in the sand.
In January, the Senate passed
Keystone legislation in a vote of 62–36.
The bill carries with it amendments for
One amendment would create “Tenant
Star,” which would be intended to rectify
the differing interests between landlords
and tenants in reducing energy consumption. It would also exempt certain water
heater equipment from Department of
Energy regulation. Furthermore, it would
require federally leased buildings that
don’t have Energy Star labels to benchmark and disclose their energy usage.
In another amendment, federal energy
programs and financing would be streamlined for schools.
The Senate’s Keystone XL bill was
sent on to the House of Representatives,
which approved it on Feb. 11. President
Barack Obama vetoed the bill on Feb. 24.
President Obama has stated that he
would not approve the project until
all reviews were conducted and it was
found that the Keystone XL project
would not worsen climate change. In
January, the Department of State submitted a review that found the project
would not negatively affect climate-change-reduction efforts. However, the
Environmental Protection Agency provided an assessment that the Keystone
XL pipeline would increase greenhouse
The veto halts the Keystone project
for now because Congress does not have
the votes to override it.