Earlier this week, the State Department rejected an industry request that they pause their review of the Keystone XL pipeline until the conclusion of negotiations between Nebraska policymakers and TransCanada officials. State rejected this request, and today, President Obama officially rejected TransCanada’s request to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
President Obama’s approval was required for the project’s completion, as construction would cross an international border.
More from the WSJ:
“The State Department has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interest of the U.S.,” President Barack Obama said in brief remarks from the White House. “I agree with that decision.”
Mr. Obama cited the urgency of climate change, and the need for American leadership on that problem, as key reasons for his decision.
Mr. Obama, who has made environmental issues a centerpiece of his second term, had signaled deep misgivings about the pipeline project as he pursued an expansive agenda aimed at fighting climate change.
The president said Friday that the pipeline had occupied an overinflated role in political discourse, adding that it was neither a silver bullet for the economy nor an express lane to climate disaster. The project would not have lowered gas prices, improved energy security or made a long-term contribution to the economy, Mr. Obama said.
“If Congress is serious about wanting to create jobs, this was not the way to do it,” he said.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 6, 2015
Following the announcement, the president promptly took to Twitter to celebrate himself:
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 6, 2015
…at which point a bipartisan caucus responded in kind:
— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 6, 2015
If the president wants to spend his time in office catering to special interests, that’s his choice to make. But it’s just wrong.#KeystoneXL
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 6, 2015
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) November 6, 2015
— EnergyTomorrow (@EnergyTomorrow) November 6, 2015
Obama’s rejection of #KeystoneXL will flush American jobs down the drain… all to appease the agenda of science denying radicals.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) November 6, 2015
— Varney & Co. (@Varneyco) November 6, 2015
Overwhelmingly, both sitting officials and GOP candidates are focusing on jobs and the economy; the Administration and environmental activists, on the other hand, are looking to score points against…you guessed it:
In deciding against Keystone, @JohnKerry says "critical factor" was that it would "significantly undermine" efforts against climate change.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) November 6, 2015
Since this project first began almost a decade ago, discussion over Keystone has amounted to little more than a battle against special interest talking points about climate change, the environment, and alternative energy options. TransCanada’s critics have repeatedly accused the company of trying to drag out the process until a potentially more sympathetic (read: not in the thrall of the enviro lobby) administration takes control in 2017; even if this is true, who could blame them?
The Obama administration’s blatant and continued rejection of the pipeline project was fueled by political interests. They repeatedly ignored the demands of a bipartisan group of lawmakers, and instead capitulated at the altar of political correctness.
This is a huge blow, but Senator Cornyn is right—this is not over.
Update—both TransCanada and the Canadian government have issued statements:
"rhetoric won out over reason" says TransCanada in response to Keystone XL rejection. pic.twitter.com/pF8gPNSYjV
— Jackson Proskow (@JProskowGlobal) November 6, 2015
— Althia Raj (@althiaraj) November 6, 2015
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