Obama Pipeline Veto Denies Lexington County Jobs

(Aiken Standard) President Barack Obama’s expected veto of a bill to expand domestic oil drilling and support for building nuclear-power plants in South Carolina will result in an attempt to override the veto by supporters of the bill, including legislators from the Palmetto State.

Obama’s Tuesday veto of legislation supporting the Keystone Pipeline was met with opposition from both bodies of Congress. The bill was one of the first up for discussion at the top of the year and made it through the House and Senate before landing on the president’s desk. One of South Carolina’s senators, Tim Scott, wrote in a press release that the Republican majority sent Obama an energy and infrastructure bill that enjoyed broad support among the public and various entities.

An impact statement from the U.S. Department of the State states that the pipeline would create 42,000 jobs, with S.C. legislators stating that many of those jobs would fall in Aiken and Lexington Counties.

“Unfortunately, the President chose to forgo the tens of thousands of American jobs and billions of dollars for America’s economy for a short-sighted, politically-motivated veto,” Scott wrote.

The Senate is beginning the process to override the President’s veto of the bill by Tuesday, said Rep. Joe Wilson. The South Carolina Republican also has been a strong advocate of the bill and added that the most environmentally-secure means to transport oil is by pipeline.

“President Obama has blocked this critical infrastructure project that has been delayed for over six years. The veto clearly destroys jobs and promotes politics,” Wilson said. “If we cannot get bipartisan support to override the veto, I am hopeful the House of Representatives will consider alternative options, such as adding language to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline in upcoming legislation this year.”

The application to build the Keystone XL Pipeline was first submitted on Sept. 19, 2008. According to the Department of Energy, the Keystone XL Pipeline would be able to move up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day, representing about half the amount the U.S. imports from the Middle East.

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