WASHINGTON – The White House says President Barack Obama would veto legislation approving construction of the long-stalled Keystone XL oil pipeline.
A bill that would have forced Obama’s hand on the issue failed to clear Congress in its final days last year.
But the Congress that convened Tuesday is Republican-controlled and new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the pipeline bill will be among the first issues voted on.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says he does not expect Obama would sign any Keystone legislation that reaches his desk.
The spokesman says there is a “well-established” review process that is being run by the State Department that should not be undermined by legislation.
Earnest also says the pipeline’s route through Nebraska also must be resolved.
Calgary-based TransCanada has been waiting more than six years for approval of the Keystone project, which would carry oilsands bitumen from Alberta to refineries in Texas.