Obama Administration Rejects Keystone Pipeline Permit

(Wednesday, January 18th, 2012)

President Obama announced Wednesday that he will deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, blaming Republicans for imposing a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” which he said did not give officials enough time.

GOP lawmakers immediately excoriated the president for the decision. House Speaker John Boehner said Obama is “selling out American jobs for politics,” and said Republicans in Congress would continue to push for the pipeline.

The decision does not necessarily kill the project. The State Department said the denial “does not preclude any subsequent permit application” — and within hours pipeline company TransCanada announced that it would reapply for a permit.

But the decision at least delays the project, one that unions and GOP lawmakers alike said would be a boon for job creation as well as energy security.

“Until this pipeline is constructed, the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela and other foreign countries,” TransCanada said in a statement Wednesday, saying it is “disappointed” by the administration’s call. “Thousands of jobs continue to hang in the balance if this project does not go forward.”

Obama administration officials and congressional Republicans were pointing the finger squarely at each other over the decision.

The White House claimed Republicans’ decision to attach a pipeline provision to the short-term payroll tax cut extension last year scuttled the project — that provision compelled the Obama administration to make a decision on the pipeline in two months.

Obama, in a written statement, said that deadline “prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact.”

“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,” Obama said. “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.”

The State Department made the initial recommendation to Obama on the grounds that there wasn’t enough time to review. Obama agreed with that recommendation. According to the White House, Obama called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to “personally convey” that decision.

But Republicans accused Obama of playing politics and expressed concern that the decision would kill jobs — 20,000 of them, according to House Republican Leader Eric Cantor.

“The president has showed through his actions that those actions do not match that rhetoric, and by deciding to block the development of the Keystone pipeline, he has essentially decided to block the creation of 20,000 new jobs,” Cantor said Wednesday.

READ MORE: FOX NEWS

4 Comments

  1. takingabreak says:

    you have to remember only obamas brilliant ideas are emergencys that needed to be acted upon with lightning speed without examining the bills first. but everyone elses ideas need to be scrutinized first

  2. akuperma says:

    Why should we pay lower prices for oil when we have the option of paying higher prices, and letting the Chinese get more oil more cheaply? And why should the states in the upper midwest get all those jobs – they have higher wages and lower unemployment already. Let the build the pipeline to British Columbia instead so the Canadians can get jobs – if they have a labor shortage maybe they can get some Mexicans cheap (we’ll probably let them through on their way to jobs – hard work foreigners are so unamerican).

  3. YITZCHOKY says:

    Of course obama is against the pipe line; he rather import it from Brasil which he has invest $2,000,000,000 and his good, good friend George soros has invested at lot lot more. his friends also have money invested there and he has to help them make a good return on their investment. The most crooked president America ever ever had

  4. ahavas_yisroel says:

    And the media gives him a pass on this, as usual! Why aren’t they screaming that he’s putting his stupid politics before American jobs that he claims to be so worried about? What a mealy mouthed phony he is!

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