East Texas opponents of Keystone XL pipeline disappointed in bil - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas opponents of Keystone XL pipeline disappointed in bill's passage

Groups in East Texas have been fighting the pipeline for five years. (Source: KTRE Staff) Groups in East Texas have been fighting the pipeline for five years. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Nacogdoches County activists opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline provide reaction to its approval by the House. (Source: KTRE Staff) Nacogdoches County activists opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline provide reaction to its approval by the House. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Opponents to the Keystone XL Pipeline are voicing disappointment to Wednesday's passage of the Senate bill authorizing the construction of the pipeline.

Now attention turns to the president's future decision on whether or not to veto the bill. East Texas News got reaction from Nacogdoches County environmentalists who have fought the pipeline for years.

For half a decade, these opponents have fought the Keystone XL Pipeline. When pipes began to be laid through East Texas, groups called StopNac and TarSands Blockade voiced their opposition loudly. Despite members' commitment they expected the bill authorizing the pipelines construction would pass.

“It's utterly unsurprising, given the GOP leadership's devotion to the interest of the fossil fuel industry,” said Alec Johnson, a pipeline opponent and activist.

The activists now turn to another expectation. 

“I think a veto is also expected,” said Vicki Baggett, another pipeline opponent and activist. “It will be consistent with what President Obama has been saying about climate change, and it's clearly not in the interest of the country."

Over the years, students, parents, landowners, and business people joined hands in rallies and protests against Keystone. There were lawsuits filed by property owners, including one by an elderly protester who was sprayed with pepper spray.

On Thursday, activists say their message needs to be voiced even louder as pipeline strategists regroup in anticipation of a presidential veto.

“They'll undoubtedly try to revive this and I hope that the president and other people, other champions of the people are going to stand tall,” Johnson said.” If they don't, if the President were to grant this then I'll tell you the people will veto it."

“We're going to fight to the dying breath,” Verner said.

President Barack Obama has said before he will veto the bill because the State Department is still reviewing the project's impact. The President has 10 days to decide. If he does, neither the House nor the Senate appears to have enough votes to override the veto.

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