Obama’s veto of Keystone XL bill is a slap in Canada’s face – by Claudia Cattaneo (National Post -February 25, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

U.S. President Barack Obama made good Tuesday on his threat to veto a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, maintaining under his full control the final decision on the Canadian project’s future.

His office downplayed the gesture, only the third veto of his presidency. There was to be no “drama or fanfare around it,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.

It’s “certainly possible” that Obama will approve the pipeline once a State Department review of the project is completed, he added, though he gave no deadline for a decision.

Yet the move is another slap in the face to Canada, which has championed the pipeline for years and did everything by the book to get it approved, only to be led down the garden path, through a maze of roadblocks and traps, by its supposed best friend and ally.

“I think you should take this personally,” said Matt Koch, vice-president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

“We have had a long relationship with your country as far as trade, been key allies for decades or centuries, and we have tried to highlight the importance of the relationship at the U.S. Chamber. Some of it has been caught up in U.S. politics. But we think that Canada is being singled out.”

To not see it that way is to miss the obvious: that relations with Canada are less important to the President than securing his climate-change legacy, no matter how hollow, misguided, or fact-challenged, as defined by the green lobby.

Indeed, environmental organizations have not pulled punches toward our country — and no other oil supplier to the U.S. — throughout their campaigns to put Keystone XL through unprecedented scrutiny.

“This veto is conclusive proof that activism works,” 350.org executive director May Boeve said in a statement Tuesday. “After four years of rallies, marches, sit-ins, and civil disobedience, we’re thrilled to see President Obama take an important first step by vetoing this love letter to Big Oil. ”

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