Ashton Marra Published

W.Va. Senators Respond to President's Position on Pipeline

Manchin / Capito

West Virginia’s U.S. Senators responded Tuesday to President Obama’s announcement that should the Keystone XL Pipeline be approved by Congress, he intends to veto the bill.

The proposed pipeline would run from tar sands oil deposits in Canada through the heartland of America to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. Industry groups say the pipeline would create construction jobs, but many activists say the environmental costs outweigh those benefits.

On a conference call with reporters Tuesday before the President’s announcement, newly elected Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said she had signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill and expected her Republican counterparts from across the country to support it.

“It’s a jobs bill, it’s an infrastructure bill. I think it’s a win win all around for the country,” Capito said.

“It’s been talked about for years and its time that we go ahead and move this forward. We need to grow energy jobs around the country and certainly in the state of West Virginia.”

West Virginia’s only Democratic representative in Washington, Sen. Joe Manchin, said in a written statement he was disappointed in the President’s stance.

“His decision to veto such a commonsense bill prior to the unfolding of regular congressional order and the offering of amendments appears premature,” Manchin said, “and does little to mitigate the congressional gridlock.”

Manchin also co-sponsored a bill to approve the proposed pipeline.