In a decision that quickly re-ignited a fierce energy debate, the Obama administration on Wednesday rejected the controversial Keystone XL pipeline because the 60-day deadline imposed by Republicans did not allow adequate time to review an alternate route through an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska.
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns made the announcement on President Obama’s behalf on the project that would carry oil from Canada’s carbon-heavy tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast. TransCanada, the company seeking to build the $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline, will be able to reapply with a new route avoiding an ecologically sensitive area of Nebraska, sources told National Journal.
Put more simply, the Obama administration hit back at Republicans by saying no because of their forcing him to decide on the project in just 60 days. Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail promptly painted the decision as a rejection of thousands of American jobs purely for political reasons.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, decried the news. “President Obama is about to destroy tens of thousands of American jobs and sell American energy security to the Chinese,” said Brendan Buck. “The president won’t stand up to his political base even to create American jobs. This is not the end of this fight.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also jumped on it. “The president’s focused more on the next election than on the next generation.”
The White House has been trying to thread a needle between two segments of the Democratic base split over the pipeline: labor unions that support the project for the jobs it would bring, and environmentalists who oppose it for the adverse impacts that development of tar-sands oil could have on the environment.
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SOURCE: National Journal