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NY Dem's advice to Obama: Veto Keystone

Sen. Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday said that even if Democrats are able to make amendments to legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline, he would still urge President Obama to veto it.

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Provisions that could be tacked on to the bill could include ones to ensure workers use steel made in the U.S. to build it, to help boost the pipeline’s manufacturing reach and a condition to add clean energy jobs.

“Why create very few jobs with the dirtiest of energy from tar sands when you can create tens of thousands more clean jobs using wind and solar?,” the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat told Bob Schieffer on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program, without going into specifics.

Schumer also said he would be pushing for an amendment stipulating that the oil from the pipeline should be used in America, rather than being exported.

“Imagine building a pipeline that ships Canadian oil across America to be exported to other countries from Texas? That makes no sense at all in terms of American working people's interest,” Schumer said.

Republicans have largely been making a push to authorize the 1,200-mile crude-oil pipeline project, which would connect existing pipelines from Canada to the Gulf Coast. Arguments have largely revolved around how many jobs Keystone would create.

In November, though, 13 Democrats – including five outgoing senators – voted to authorize the project in a last-ditch bid to help save the ultimately defeated Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuCassidy wins reelection in Louisiana Bottom line A decade of making a difference: Senate Caucus on Foster Youth MORE (D-La.), who lost a later run-off election. The vote on the pipeline project failed to advance by one vote, 59-41.

Obama has not said whether or not he would veto a passed Keystone legislation, but many are speculating that he would.

Even if the desired amendments are included into the bill, Schumer told Schieffer he would still press Obama to formally disapprove of Keystone.

“I don’t think -- these amendments will make it better but certainly not good enough at this point in time – and I think there will be enough Democratic votes to sustain the president’s veto,” Schumer said.