“This veto is conclusive proof that activism works.”
That’s what May Boeve, executive director of 350.org, said in response to Obama’s veto, which was only the third of his presidency. President Obama rejected the construction of the Keystone XL Feb. 24, angering the Republican majority in Congress and inspiring environmental activists.
“After four years of rallies, marches, sit-ins, and civil disobedience, we’re thrilled to see President Obama take an important first step by vetoing this love letter to Big Oil,” Boeve continued.
Boeve’s comments declare hope to a generation of environmental scientists and activists who have often struggled to draw serious political attention to climate change.
Republicans in Congress, on the other hand, were deeply disappointed with Obama’s behavior. The Hill reports:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) ripped Obama's veto, calling it a "national embarrassment."
"The president is just too close to environmental extremists to stand up for America’s workers. He’s too invested in left-fringe politics to do what presidents are called on to do, and that’s put the national interest first," Boehner said.
Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), tweeted that the attempt at a veto override "will happen no later than March the 3rd."
“Even though the president has yielded to powerful special interests, this veto doesn’t end the debate. Americans should know that the new Congress won’t stop pursuing good ideas, including this one,” McConnell said in a statement.
But it’s not only congressional Republicans who think the fight is not over. Boeve, too, is not content with Obama’s veto, which left the door open to future approval pending “proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”
Boeve urged Obama to not be swayed by such processes.
“Now it’s time for the President to show he’s serious about his climate legacy by moving on to step two: rejecting this pipeline once and for all,” she said.