Oil lobby chief: Keystone veto would hurt Obama’s relations with Congress

The oil industry’s top lobbyist said President Obama’s veto of a Keystone XL bill will hurt his relationship with Congress.

“It doesn’t bode well for relationships between the White House and Capitol Hill,” American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard said Tuesday.

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Gerard’s comments came minutes after White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama would use his veto power if the bill passes both chambers of Congress, a result that Republican leaders believe is all but certain.

Nonetheless, Gerard predicted that the Keystone pipeline would be approved in one way or another by 2015. It is usually Obama’s responsibility to approve cross-border pipelines.

“I believe at some point in 2015, the Keystone XL pipeline will be approved. How it gets approved, it may have to through one or two other iterations,” he said.

Obama would be going against the will of most lawmakers, including all Republicans and some Democrats, in addition to the majority of the American public, Gerard said.

He also cited the Keystone bill introduced Tuesday morning by Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) with 60 co-sponsors, enough to avoid a Senate filibuster. Some senators who support it didn’t co-sponsor it, Gerard said.

“The leaders in the Senate and the House have picked an issue that has broad, bipartisan support,” he told reporters shortly after giving his annual speech on “the state of American energy.”