Thursday, January 29, 2015

To veto or not to veto

(Kane) As of today, Congress has passed a bipartisan bill that mandates the construction of the very controversial Keystone Pipeline. This pipeline is set to go from Canada, through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and down to Texas. The pipeline will be delivering oil from Canada and proponents say it will not only lower gas prices, but will also create a lot of domestic jobs. The pipeline idea and proposal began in 2010 when gas prices were high along with the unemployment rate. Environmentalists are very worried about this project as it will not only disrupt the environment where it is being built but it will also continue focus on oil and will divert focus from renewable energy sources. Obama has vowed to veto Keystone legislation, and if he does, it will make this the first big piece of legislation he has vetoed ever, with only two smaller vetoes to his name. Democrats are urging him to veto this not only now but in the future as well if/when Republicans reintroduce it in another way. While the bill was bipartisan, there were only nine Democrats that voted with the Republicans leaving them short of the 2/3 vote needed to override Obama's veto. This Keystone Pipeline bill has had weeks and weeks of debates and has 40 amendments that are still being voted on. This monumental bill and issue was a critical point in many of the midterm elections and helped the Republicans get the control they wanted, just not the 2/3 majority they needed. 

I think that this pipeline is a horrible idea, plain and simple. The amount of stress and destruction that will occur to the local environments is enough for me to not support the pipeline in the first place. However, on top of that, there are the long-term effects that it will have along with the very prevalent fact that the more money we throw into getting more and cheaper oil, the less money we are spending on renewable resources like solar and wind energy and even on things such as fracking and nuclear power. Oil is going to run out very soon, and while I do believe that getting oil out of the ground as efficiently as possible is good, creating a huge pipeline to travel dirty oil from the top of the country to the bottom is absolutely ridiculous. I most definitely think that Obama should and will veto this legislation. However, I am worried because his main reason for vetoing it now is that the federal environmental reviews on the project aren't complete yet. Once they are completed, then will he sign it? I sure hope not. 

1) Do you think Obama should veto the bill and why?
2) What are your views on the Keystone Pipeline?
3) Do you believe that Obama will sign the bill in the future? Why or why not? 
4) What are your views on the U.S.'s dependency on oil and whether the pipeline could solve any of this? 


Murray Sandmeyer said...

I think that Obama should veto the bill. The argument that it will create domestic jobs is true, but these jobs will mostly be temporary while the pipeline is being built. I agree that the environmental concerns are too serious to allow something intrusive like this to be built. Overall, we should be investing in ambitious renewable energy projects like wind and solar, and even though they haven't worked every time as was apparent with Solyndra, renewable energy is the future.

Kelsey O'Donnell said...

I definitely agree with you Murray. I think that we will be seeing a lot more vetoes coming from the White House. Also, like you said, I agree that this is a very short-term project that will end up being more detrimental in the long run. Congress often is in favor of such projects because they look good when elections come around. We need forward thinkers in Congress, especially when it comes to the environment.

Catherine van Blommestein said...

I do believe that the environment is of the utmost importance. I also believe that we have made good pipelines that have had minimal effects on the environment (i.e. the Alaskan Pipeline). Since this is about 40 years later and technology has improved, we can make a safer and more environmentally friendly pipeline. We cannot deny that we need to find cleaner and more renewable energy. However, we need the energy today and we do not want to be dependent on foreign oil. Being at the mercy of foreign oil puts our country in a dangerous position. Once we find cleaner alternative energy we can dismantle the pipeline.