Obama administration rejects Keystone pipeline permit
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.”