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The war isn't over, but today was a victory on the pipeline battlefield for Art and Helen Tanderup, and many other Keystone XL pipeline fighters.
The couple were jumping up and down in their home north of Neligh today after President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline.
“We’re pretty excited right now,” Tanderup said. “The fight isn’t over yet. He still has to reject the permit to put a stop to it.”
In a statement, Obama said he takes this responsibility seriously. It was just the third veto of his presidency.
"The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto."
Tanderup said all indications coming out of Washington were that Obama would veto the bill. But Congress could still override Obama’s actions.
“I don’t think Congress will override it, though. I don’t think they have the votes to do so,” Tanderup said. “I think Obama will reject the permit as well.”
The bill passed the House 270-152 and the Senate 62-36, margins well short of the two-thirds majorities needed to override. A veto override vote will be scheduled by March 3.
The veto comes on the heels of last week’s district court action in Holt County where judge Mark Kozisek issued a temporary injunction against TransCanada to halt eminent domain for Tanderup and other landowners.
Tanderup said the veto doesn’t change anything with his lawsuit. In fact, rejecting the permit wouldn’t halt the lawsuit either. He said both events are positive steps.
“This is a long way from being over,” he said. “The lawsuit will continue because we need to see LB 1161 overturned. It’s an unconstitutional law.”