Obama threatens Keystone XL veto

May 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM

WASHINGTON, May 22 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama would veto a House measure that would fast-track the approval of the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline, the White House said.

The House of Representatives passed the so-called Northern Route Approval Act that would put the approval process for Keystone XL in the hands of U.S. lawmakers.

Supporters of Keystone XL say it's one of the most heavily vetted projects of its kind, adding it would help a lackluster U.S. economy and ensure North American energy security. Opponents say heavy Canadian crude oil, the type designated for the pipeline, poses a serious threat to the environment.

A letter from the Office of Management and Budget states the Obama administration "strongly opposes" the House resolution.

The OMB said the measure conflicts with precedence in terms of vetting procedures from the executive branch of government. It isn't necessary because the U.S. State Department is already working on measures to complete the permit decision process for the pipeline, the document said.

"If presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto this bill," the OMB statement said.

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