WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- The White House Tuesday said provisions for the Keystone XL pipeline in the surface transportation bill are a deal breaker.
In a statement, the White House threatened a veto if the pipeline is included in the measure reauthorizing funding for programs through the Highway Trust Fund.
Simply passing a short-term extension again also is unacceptable because it would "miss a critical opportunity to provide more certainty to states and localities as they undertake the long-term planning and execution of projects and programs that are essential to creating and keeping American workers in good paying jobs, improving the nation's surface transportation infrastructure, and ensuring roadway safety."
As to Keystone, "the administration is strongly opposed to this bill because it seeks to circumvent a longstanding and proven process for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest and for assessing the environmental impacts by mandating the permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline project, despite the fact that the pipeline route has yet to be identified and there is no complete assessment of its potential impacts, including impacts on health and safety, the economy, foreign policy, energy security, and the environment," the statement said.
"Because this bill circumvents a longstanding and proven process for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by mandating the permitting of the Keystone XL pipeline before a new route has been submitted and assessed, the president's senior advisers would recommend that he veto this legislation."