Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline, for now

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The Obama Administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday, saying the deadline imposed by Congress did not leave sufficient time to conduct the necessary review.

"This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people," President Obama said in a statement. "I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision."

TransCanada Corp’s proposal to build a 1,700-mile Canada-to-Texas pipeline may not be dead, however. The State Department said the denial does not “preclude any subsequent applications.”

TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling said in a statement, “TransCanada remains fully committed to construction of Keystone XL. Plans are already underway on a number of fronts to largely maintain the construction schedule of the project.”

Last November the Obama Administration delayed a decision on a presidential permit for the project until 2013. But lawmakers that support the project attached a measure to a tax-cut law passed at the end of last year that set a February deadline for a decision.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been a controversial issue. Environmental groups are concerned about carbon emissions from oil sands production and possible leaks along the pipeline.

Supporters of the project, including the oil industry, some unions and many Republican lawmakers, say it’s an important job creator that will lessen America’s dependence on oil imported from the Middle East.

Environmental groups called Wednesday’s announcement a victory.

“President Obama put the health and safety of the American people and our air, lands and water – our national interest – above the interests of the oil industry,” Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “His decision represents a triumph of truth over Big Oil’s bullying tactics and its disinformation campaign with wildly exaggerated jobs claims.”

Those who support the pipeline, however, were unhappy.

House Speaker John Boehner says President Obama is breaking his promise to create jobs by rejecting a plan to build the pipeline.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue said in a statement, “This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration. The President’s decision sends a strong message to the business community and to investors: keep your money on the sidelines, America is not open for business.”

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maury kaerecher    
Michigan  |  January, 19, 2012 at 09:19 AM

I am disappointed that the President cowtowed to a group of indivduals that believe any use of our natural resources is deemed a potential for catastrohpic disasters rather then understand that their will always be risk. Another reason to believe that the President talks out both sids of his mouth.

Ron Odell    
Amarillo, TX  |  January, 19, 2012 at 09:29 AM

The move by President Obama is stictly political; he is trying to appease his extreme left base and the environmental group that would rather we all walk or ride bikes. He is keeping thousands of Americans from finding much needed jobs. Also, there are hundreds of pipelines crises crossing this country and their safety record is extremely good. To bad for our country!

Cy Byrd    
Iowa  |  January, 19, 2012 at 10:52 AM

This is not political issue, it is an environmental issue. If they contaminate the Ogallala aquifer that stretches from Easter SD to Eastern NM then the Midwest is screwed from now until the end of time. As a republican, I am ashamed of my party leaders and how they suck up to the oil companies. Cy

Ken Combs    
January, 19, 2012 at 09:42 AM

How many pipe lines stretch across this nation at this time? There are several. I just saw a map yesterday of existing pipelines in my county and was surprised. The safety record of all pipelines in the U.S. is extremely good. We need the oil. People need to have jobs. In my area construction workers are the ones hardest hit. This would put a lot people back to work and put some real money circulating in the communities near the pipeline. This pipeline would not go through my area and affect the local economy, but it would go through several miles in the U.S. and put a lot of local workers back to work with money to purchase what they need. I would like to see the economy in any area of the U.S. affected.

Gary W.    
Florida  |  January, 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM

President Obama made such a big deal over the Payroll Tax bill a month ago about the Republicans depriving the American Citizens from $50 in their paychecks. If gasoline and diesel were back to $1.50/gal (which is possible), they could put thousands of dollars in the pockets each year. The prices of goods and service would go down. Consumers would have more money in their pockets to paybills, shop, travel, eat out, etc. The high price of energy is killing this economy. It's really time for a change.....

lee kottke    
lenapah oklahoma  |  January, 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM

The first Keystone pipeline had two big spills just last year. The folks whose land it will go through do not want it. We have enough natural gas in the US to handle our energy needs especially when American innovation and knowhow develop energy resources that are domestic and do not increase threat of climate change which is already causing weather extremes especially challenging for the rancher and farmer. Energy is much more efficiently generated near end-use location. Folks I know with the skills required for pipeline jobs already have jobs. Even the pipeline itself admits this will produce about 6000 jobs for a few years. Then very little. Its a lousy job creator. Dont slam the decision just because you dont think you like the individual in the White House. Keep your issues separate and focus on the ones you really care

Kent Holland    
Wellington, TX  |  January, 21, 2012 at 04:50 PM

Best comment I have seen in this magazine!

suite 399    
usa  |  January, 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

can someone explain to me why this article is related to meat business?

January, 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM

The Republican delegation in Nebraska demanded the pipeline be re-routed. The new route has not been set by the pipeline company and Republicans in Congress want a decision on the environmental impacts BEFORE the route is determined. Why would the administration approve a pipeline before the route is set? Also, this pipeline is going to have minimal impact on world oil prices. This oil is headed for the world market, either west through Canada to the Pacific or south to the gulf. It is hardly enough to move the world price needle. There is also the possibility it will raise prices in the midwest where there is a bit of an over supply caused by Canadian supply unable to move freely to export. The pipeline will remove that bottleneck and make it available for export.

Abilene, Kansas  |  January, 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM

They laid the Keystone Pipe 5 miles east of me last summer. Nobody around here got a job that I know of, a person couldn't even find out who to ask to get one. They opened the land up, and closed it so fast it was unbelieveable. They paid for the easements to the local landowners. Yes, some reported being intimidated, eminent domain stuff....blah, blah, blah....condemnations, take it or leave it....."we're coming through,, anyway." What I want to know is how TransCanada managed to be allowed our land in the first place? Who in government enabled it to happen? And P.S. Cushing, Oklahoma was the destination for this line, and we were supposed to reap the reward of cheaper gas and diesel fuel......is that all stopped now?

Michael E. Dikeman    
Manhattan, KS  |  January, 19, 2012 at 11:13 AM

If only union workers were to be hired for this project, if it is approved, I would be opposed to that. As a Republican, I actually agree with Obama not making a firm decision until the proposed project has been carefully studied. Stories about the negative impact on the communities in ND of the rapidly expanding oil exploration are discouraging.

michigan  |  January, 19, 2012 at 02:21 PM

They export oil know from this country. Why bother to do this? It will not bring the oil prices down. Will it only make the oil companies more money?

Larry D Jones    
north dakota  |  January, 19, 2012 at 02:49 PM

North Dakota was going to be putting oil in Keystone, right now it is being hauled by trucks and rail as pipelines are full. What is the safety record of trucks or trains? I'd bet there are more spills from them than pipelines. Our roads are so full of trucks it is hard to drive in western North Dakota and how long will the rail lines allow us cars for grain? The oil will move.

USA  |  January, 19, 2012 at 02:52 PM

As an exDemocrat I am ashamed of the Communist Party USA approved agenda of the Democrat Party. The attempts at justifying the inexcusable prove that liberals are incapable of discerning between liberalism and the hard left that hides in the environmental movement and makes a job cemetary of the US. Developing natural resources is an essential tool for a world power to remain a world power. A loyal American does not put the mythical Mother Earth before American jobs. And where is the promised transparency and promise not to hire lobbyists? Green lobbyists now running the environmental bureaucracies seems to be just one of many promises broken in the most secretly run presidency ever. How long has it been since the guy answered questions from the Press Corp? Or "corpse" as he seems to like to pronounce it.

mike brumley    
hereford tx  |  January, 19, 2012 at 02:52 PM

the level of utter incompetance of this one term socilist is beyond beleif . obama would do or say anything to be relected, this is politics at its worse. our energy needs have been put behind our imperial presidents need for votes. please vote for anyone other than this shister !

Ohio  |  January, 23, 2012 at 03:10 PM

Too bad the President didnt take the time needed to review his health care plan. He would still be reading it...

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