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March 1, 2015

MSCI President Bob Weidner: Keystone Pipeline Veto Hurts U.S.-Canada Relationship

Last Tuesday, President Barack Obama vetoed bipartisan legislation passed by Congress in February that approved the Keystone XL Pipeline. Metals Service Center Institute President and CEO Bob Weidner issued a statement after the veto. Weidner said:

“MSCI and its members are disappointed with President Barack Obama’s veto yesterday of the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. This bill enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Congress and the pipeline is supported by the majority of the American people. According to the U.S. State Department, the pipeline would create more than 42,000 well-paying jobs in the United States and result in safer and more environmentally-friendly transport of energy resources. The pipeline would also help ensure a reliable flow of affordable energy for the U.S. metals and manufacturing industries. The president’s veto is a step away from U.S. energy independence and also harms our relationship with our neighbors. An IHS, Inc. report (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/233522-most-keystone-oil-would-stay-in-us-study-says) released hours before the president’s veto said the majority of resources transported through the pipeline would stay in the United States. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his cabinet argued forcefully in favor of Keystone approval so the president’s veto also hurts our relationship with one of our greatest allies. President Obama has routinely said that, in the absence of legislative action, he will act on his own to pass his policy agenda. The Keystone XL Pipeline has been under review by the Obama Administration for more than six years. In the absence of action by the executive branch, I urge members of the House and Senate to vote to override the president’s veto.” 

The Tampa Bay Times and Forbes contributor Jon Hartley have more about how the president’s veto could affect the United States’ relationship with Canada. Hartley said, “President Barack Obama’s decision this week to veto Keystone XL pipeline approval legislation has set a bad precedent for bilateral trade between the U.S. and Canada … as the Obama administration’s increasingly negative tone toward the project has been met with frustration at the highest levels of Canadian government.” 

The U.S. Senate could vote this week to override the president’s veto. MSCI encourages its members to call their senators and representatives to urge them to vote for the override. Also – let us know what you think of MSCI’s statement on this matter, or the Keystone XL Pipeline in general, by emailing Jonathan Kalkwarf, vice president for finance and government affairs.