The U.S. government has denied an application by TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department announced Wednesday. A statement released by the department said it doesn’t preclude TransCanada applying again with a different route. The Canadian government wanted to see the pipeline go ahead. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said the government hopes a new TransCanada application will be approved, but Canada is going to look to other markets to sell its oil. “It is clear that the process is not yet over,” Oliver said.
Obama said that a Feb. 21 deadline set by Congress as part of the two-month payroll tax cut extension had made it impossible to do an adequate review of the pipeline project proposed by TransCanada. “This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” the president said in a statement.
Environmental groups immediately hailed the decision as David versus Goliath victory for an unlikely coalition between national activists and Nebraska landowners opposed to the pipeline’s route across an ecologically sensitive area known as the Sand Hills.
Last word to Desmog Blog:
While it’s good to see that President Obama is standing up to oil industry bullying and Republican pressure to fast-track the permit, this still means Keystone XL is very much in play. If it’s ever built, Keystone XL will allow the expansion of the Alberta tar sands that climate scientists worry will send us down a dangerous path of global warming pollution. What’s more, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, if built, would increase oil prices in the American Midwest. That’s the shocking takeaway point from a bombshell report about Keystone XL as an export pipeline released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Oil Change International. We’ve reported time and time again here on DeSmogBlog, the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would not improve America’s energy security, but never has that reality been more clearly conveyed than by this one real-world point that is worth repeating. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would increase oil prices in the Midwest.