President Obama on Friday rejected the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, a victory for environmentalists who believed the project would increase dependency on oil.
Earlier in the week, the State Department said it would not pause its review of the pipeline proposal, despite a request from TransCanada, the project’s sponsor. The decision was seen as paving the way for Obama to reject Keystone rather than let the issue linger. Supporters of the pipeline now must wait until 2016 to see whether the new president-elect supports the project. Republican presidential candidates favor the pipeline’s approval. Hillary Clinton, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, opposes it.
“Now for years, the Keystone Pipeline has occupied what I, frankly, consider and overinflated role in our political discourse. It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties rather than a serious policy matter,” Obama said at the White House. “And all of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others.”
The Post’s Juliet Eilperin has the story:
The decision to deny TransCanada Corp. a cross-border permit for a 1,179-mile pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Neb. puts an end — at least for now — to a seven-year fight over a project that came to symbolize what Obama could do unilaterally to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
On Wednesday the State Department rejected TransCanada’s request to suspend its review of the pipeline until the Nebraska Public Service Commission approved a revised route through the state. The completed pipeline would move roughly 830,000 barrels a day of heavy crude oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.