White House renews veto threat over Keystone pipeline

April 18, 2012 06:15

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday renewed its threat to veto legislation to fund US transportation projects responsible for millions of jobs if it includes the politically charged Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Republicans in the House of Representatives have included the pipeline in a bill that proposes a 90-day extension of funding for highway, bridge, and transit construction. The House is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday.

In a statement on the proposal, presidential advisers said the legislation would circumvent "longstanding and proven process" for determining whether pipelines are in the national interest.

It said mandating the pipeline before a new route was "submitted and assessed" would prompt a recommendation that President Barack Obama veto the long-delayed transportation legislation, said to be crucial for the economy.

Obama earlier this year put a hold on TransCanada's $7 billion project, designed to bring crude oil from Canada and North Dakota to Texas refineries, because he said it needed further environmental review in Nebraska.

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