Obama Rejects Keystone Pipeline Plan

Obama announcing his Keystone decision Friday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated 1:10 p.m. | The White House is rejecting a Canadian company’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, sounding a death knell for the controversial project that has long pitted President Barack Obama against Republicans and the energy industry.  

Obama on Friday criticized members of both parties for treating the proposal like a “campaign cudgel instead of a serious policy matter.” Ultimately, the president said he concluded the plan was “neither the silver bullet” for the U.S. economy nor a sure-fire cause of “climate disaster” as claimed by those on either side of the issue.  

White House Calls Another Keystone Delay 'Unusual'

Obama speaking in 2012 at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)


It would be “unusual” to again delay a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, given how long the process has taken thus far, the White House said Tuesday.  

Hillary Clinton Opposes Keystone Pipeline

Clinton announced her opposition to the pipeline just as Pope Francis was touching down in the District of Columbia. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline at an Iowa town hall Tuesday, citing climate change.  

Clinton also seemed to ding President Barack Obama's administration for taking so long to make a decision; the State Department she used to head is in charge of the review, and Clinton said she thought they would have issued a decision by now and she could then say whether she agrees with it. But after initially saying she would announce her position after she's elected , Clinton has now changed her tune.  

Hillary Clinton Won't Tell Keystone XL Position Until 2017

Clinton waves to tourists on July 14 as she makes her way through the Capitol. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Hillary Rodham Clinton had an unusual dodge for a yes-or-no question from a voter on whether she would sign a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline: Wait until I'm president.  

Clinton at first pointed, as she has previously, to her unique status as the secretary of State during the time when the review of the pipeline was initiated, and said she wanted to wait for President Barack Obama to make his decision. She said she wouldn't second-guess the president's decision. And then she said if it's still undecided when she takes office, she'll give an answer then and laughed.  

Obama Vetoes Keystone Pipeline

President Barack Obama has vetoed the Keystone Pipeline bill as promised, using his veto pen for just the third time and the first since 2010.  

Obama had repeatedly vowed to veto the bill, one of the first major legislative efforts by Republicans now in charge of both chambers of Congress, citing process. Obama has said the State Department's years-long review of the project must finish first, and Press Secretary Josh Earnest has left open the possibility Obama could approve it then.  

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Look to Build On Relations

Murkowski led the fight for the Keystone XL pipeline on the Senate floor — one area where the Alaska and Hawaii delegations parted ways. She's trying to bring the delegations together. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The relatively new members of the Alaska and Hawaii Senate delegations are working to build up their relationships as they seek to continue a decades-long alliance forged by the late Sens. Daniel K. Inouye and Ted Stevens.  

"We don't have that strength yet," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said. "But you've got to put it into context. ... The Hawaii delegation is a very young delegation; actually the Alaska delegation is also a very new delegation, so we need to form those same bonds."

Senate Absences Begin for 2016 (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:15 p.m. | It may be January, but the Senate absences for potential presidential candidates have already begun.  

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky opted against attending the joint House-Senate Republican Republican retreat in Pennsylvania, and now it's been reported that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., could miss a week's worth of business on the floor.  

White House Promises to Veto GOP's Keystone Legislation

McConnell and the Republicans are sending a Keystone bill to the president despite a veto threat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The new GOP-led Congress is moving quickly to put a bill expediting the Keystone XL Pipeline on President Barack Obama's desk, despite a new veto threat from the White House.  

White House press secretary Josh Earnest, in his daily briefing Tuesday, said the president has no plans to sign the legislation. “I can confirm for you that if this bill passes this Congress then the president wouldn’t sign it,” he said.  

Keystone XL and Energy Efficiency, Together Again?

The Portman-Shaheen bill has been derailed by Senate dysfunction. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The first energy bill of the new year could feature a bit of a role reversal.  

With Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the incoming majority leader, saying the Keystone XL pipeline approval legislation will be the first item of business in the 114th Congress, lead GOP sponsor John Hoeven of North Dakota mooted the possible return of bipartisan energy efficiency legislation.  

McConnell Puts Keystone First on the Agenda (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The incoming Senate majority leader is putting approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project first on his 2015 agenda.  

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday told reporters that in looking ahead to the new year, a bill sponsored by Republican John Hoeven of North Dakota would lead off the floor schedule. "We'll be starting next year with a job-creating bill that enjoys significant bipartisan support," McConnell said of the pipeline legislation. "It will be open for amendment. We'll hope that senators on both sides will offer energy-related amendments, but there will be no effort to try to ... micromanage the amendment process."