White House aides are whispering that President Barack Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline authorization bill signals a new phase of his presidency, and we suppose they’re right. He’ll finish out his tenure as a Howard Hughes-like penthouse recluse who is ever more withdrawn from the political and economic center.
The legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline that Obama rejected Tuesday enjoys a broad bipartisan consensus, including support from nine Senate Democrats and 28 in the House. Business, labor unions, most consumers, and ally and trading partner Canada are also in favor of this $8 billion infrastructure project, which will create jobs, strengthen North American energy security and increase prosperity.
Obama is refusing these benefits to bow to the environmental-left fringe that opposes all carbon energy. The reason he gave in a quiet veto message to Congress_no speech, no cameras_was that the bill “cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest.” The Keystone has been in regulatory limbo for about 2,300 days in perhaps the most extensive permitting review in the history of American government.
Aside from his green billionaire friends, we suspect Obama also wanted to frustrate what happens to be an incidental Republican priority: The House is 11 votes and the Senate merely four votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary for an override.
The Washington press corps is all but filing profiles of Obama’s veto pen (a Cross Townsend roller-ball) and explaining that his wall of vetoes against anything that comes out of Congress is his “strategy” for the next two years. The better way of putting it is that Obama will leave office increasingly isolated, obstructionist and partisan.
— Wall Street Journal,