The U.S. State Department today announced its recommendation that President Obama deny the permit for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, stating that at this time the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline does not serve the national interest.
The decision comes after countless hours of grassroots organizing, millions of petition signatures, and the arrests of thousands of American and Canadian protesters who recognized the immense health and environmental risks posed by the Keystone XL.
Many politicians and oil industry lobbyists tried to paint the Keystone XL pipeline as America’s economy savior, claiming that it would create thousands of jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
However, it was discovered in late 2011 that TransCanada intentionally inflated job creation numbers, counting jobs that lasted for two years as two separate jobs. It was also revealed that most of the oil extracted from the Canadian tar sands and loaded into the pipe would head straight for refineries on the Gulf Coast, and then be exported to other countries.
Then in December 2011, Congress tried to force the president to make a decision on the pipeline proposal, tucking the mandate into the payroll tax cut bill that Obama ultimately signed into law.
“The rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” Obama said today in a statement.
“As a result, the secretary of state has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”
The President’s words are music in the ears of the millions of Americans who signed petitions urging him to reject the Keystone XL. Over the years, Care2 is proud to have assisted the campaigns of several highly respected environmental organizations by hosting their petitions and encouraging the Care2 community to sign them. These partnering organizations include The Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, ACP, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Ultimately, the State Department called for an assessment of alternative pipeline routes that avoided the uniquely sensitive terrain of the Sand Hills in Nebraska. The Department estimated, based on prior projects of similar length and scope, that it could complete the necessary review to make a decision by the first quarter of 2013.
The State Department also made it clear that the denial of this application would not prevent TransCanada from applying for permits again, once the alternative route has been proposed.
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