President Obama Bows to Special Interests: Refuses to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada


The 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, would daily transport more than 500,000 barrels of oil derived from oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. already imports about 2 million barrels of oil per day from Canada. Since the pipeline crosses our border the president has the reponsibility to decide if it is in the national interest. President Obama under pressure from the environmental lobby punted on approving the pipeline—bravely putting off his decision until after the elections in November. In December, the Republicans in Congress passed legislation that required the president to make his decision by February 21st. Apparently, he now has.

Proponents of the pipeline point out that the project is shovel-ready and would create 20,000 construction jobs. In addition, the pipeline has passed environmental muster twice already. And the company has agreed to re-site a portion of the pipeline in order to allay exaggerated fears that a leak from it might harm the Ogallala aquifer. Nevertheless, the National Journal is reporting

The State Department is expected to deny a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday afternoon ….

The announcement is expected at 3 p.m. by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the sources said.

Rejection of the permit would not necessarily kill the 1,700-mile project to carry oil from Canada's tar sands to refineries in Texas, however.

The Obama administration has said it simply could not adequately review the proposed project in time to meet a 60-day deadline for a decision on the permit imposed by Congress in the payroll-tax package enacted in December.

In a statement emailed to the media, Daniel Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, praises the decision to further delay the project: 

Today President Obama made a courageous decision that says that special interests will not decide our clean energy future.

Depends on what the meaning of "special interests" is.