Patt Morrison For January 18, 2012

Obama rejects Keystone XL oil pipeline permit

Activists Protest Proposed Canadian Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 50 demonstrators sit down in front of the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue while protesting agains a proposed pipeline that would bring tar sands oil to the U.S. from Canada August 22, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Was it all just a pipe dream? President Obama on Wednesday rejected energy company TransCanada Corporation’s pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline across 1,700-miles, including environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska, before a Feb. 21 deadline set by Congress.

“As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” said Obama in a statement. “As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”

Obama reiterated what he called his administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces domestic dependence on oil, and maintained that in the months ahead there will be research into potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico. The Keystone XL pipeline project has been the subject of a drawn out dispute between environmentalists who insist that it will damage the environment and some unions who support the venture because of its potential for job creation and energy supply.

WEIGH IN:

Do you agree with Obama? Or do the potential benefits of a pipeline outweigh the potential environmental risks?

Guest:

John Kerekes, Midwest regional director, American Petroleum Institute

Danielle Droitsch, Canada project director, NRDC’s International Program


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