Celebs urge Obama to veto, reject Keystone

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More than 100 high-profile actors, musicians and environmentalists joined together Tuesday in urging President Obama to veto legislation authorizing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.

In a letter circulated by climate group 350.org, musician Willie Nelson, and actors Robert Redford, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo call on Obama to go one step further than vetoing the Republican-backed Keystone bill and reject the pipeline's pending permit all together.

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"We appreciate your pending veto of the congressional bill, and we fully support an outright rejection of the permit," the celebrities wrote.

Legislation approving the $8 billion project is headed to the White House Tuesday morning and is expected to be quickly vetoed by the president.

Opponents of the pipeline have said they are more concerned about winning an outright rejection of the pipeline from Obama and say they will continue to pressure the White House.

"Many of the choices that define a presidency come by accident or chance — some storm or crisis that demands a quick response," the letter states. "But this one is firmly in your control."

The high-profile figures stress that the pipeline has failed to meet the president's climate test in the letter.

Recent comments from the Environmental Protection Agency questioned the limited impact Keystone would have on climate change, handing a small but crucial victory to opponents. 

"Rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline will powerfully demonstrate your commitment to stopping the rising of the oceans, set the stage for further climate action and build a legacy worth sharing," says the letter, which was also signed by musician Lance Bass and actor Alec Baldwin

Other signers included landowners, tribal leaders, unions and elected officials. 

Supporters of the pipeline argue it will create jobs and boost U.S. energy security. 

Republican leaders charged Obama on Tuesday with "appeasing environmental extremists" and vowed that a veto is "far from" the end of the fight.