BREAKING: Obama Will Reject Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Major media outlets are reporting that members of the Obama administration are poised to announce that the State Department will reject TransCanada’s application for a permit to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline.

However, sources say that the administration will allow TransCanada to reapply after it develops an alternate route through the sensitive habitat of Nebraska’s Sandhills. Some say it will only take TransCanada a few weeks to draft the alternative plan.

“Assuming that what we’re hearing is true, this isn’t just the right call, it’s the brave call,” said Bill McKibben, founder and Keystone XL protest leader in a statement. “The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he’s too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact ‘huge political consequences,’ he’s stood up strong. This is a victory for Americans who testified in record numbers, and who demanded that science get the hearing usually reserved for big money.

“We’re well aware that the fossil fuel lobby won’t give up easily. They have control of Congress. But as the year goes on, we’ll try to break some of that hammerlock, both so that environmental review can go forward, and so that we can stop wasting taxpayer money on subsidies and handouts to the industry.”

Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will make the announcement later this afternoon, in response to a congressionally-mandated deadline of Feb. 21 for action. Watch this page for updates when the official announcement is made.

Related Reading:

Oil Spills Expected If Keystone XL Is Approved

Half Of Canadians Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada Admits It Lied About Keystone XL Jobs

Image Credit: Flickr – fibonacciblue


Portland N.
P. L. Neola6 years ago

The President’s speech is airing on PBS right now. Everything he has promised correlates with all the petitions we have signed. Maybe he is providing “We the People” a voice for once! Who knows?

His speech is more like a campaign speech. His first three years in office were a disappointment to me and costly for our government!!!

I am very happy for the outcome of the Keystone XL pipeline. If he will stop Shell from drilling in the Arctic this year or any year in the future, he will finally earn my respect! Remember, he signed or rubber stamped Arctic drilling last August or September, along with the Bureau of Energy Management, the Environment Protection Agency, and the Secretary of the Interior. He is by no means innocent!

Rob Dean
Rob Dean6 years ago

Just another purely political move by Obama - he talks jobs but whenever he has the real opportunity to create them he looks to see whether it is better to use it politically for his reelection campaign or do the right thing and put people to work. I am ashamed of this President and am working very hard to see him unemployed! Shame on you Mr. Obama, you are a job killer and just want to keep people down promising them things you will never do. It is time for a change and the change is a US without Obama!

Diane F.
Diane F6 years ago

Brian F. Thanks for your input. It seems like a good idea for us to transition to alternative energy but James R. asked, "Why is there such a big push to kill this pipeline when the worst case scenario is already being played out?" Why, indeed?

James R., you also made some very good points about how we are receiving oil transported to us through seas and oceans where those ecosystems are at risk. I believe the Tar Sands project is our worst case scenario. In any event, why make it worse? Our health, land and entire ecosystems are at risk and personally I don't want it piped to Houston (probably transecting where I live). It will be uprooting peoples' businesses and homes. The jobs it will provide will be to those whose skills are already in demand and working. It will not increase jobs; instead it will create vacancies that are difficult to fill. I believe Brian F. addressed the other good points you made.

In any case, we stand on opposite sides. I certainly believe you have our country's best interests in mind and know from your civil and diplomatic tone that you believe Brian F. and I do as well. We can only hope that there is some remote idea found that can work - something that will make both of us happy.

James R.
James R.6 years ago

@Brian Let's assume that the majority of the fuel from the oil sands gets exported and let's be honest it would be foolish for the business men not to export a portion of it with the inflated market in Europe. Do you think for a second that this isn't already happening? Where do you think that oil that is being refined in Texas is coming from?

Look at this from a broader spectrum. If the oil flows through Canada and the U.S. then WE have control over it and WE can lobby to have taxes levied on every drop that can fun alternative energy sources. If the fuel doesn't run through us then Europe will find other less ethical places to buy it from.

As for the Leaf an other EV's. That isn't the solution either. Plastic is used in the production, coal is used to fuel them and Lithium Ion batteries are worse for the environment in the long run. Lithium Ion batteries don't grow on trees and they don't bio degrade. Where do you think the electricity comes from? The majority of it comes from coal burning plants. Coal comes from strip mining. Same bloody problem. Even the "environmentally friendly" wind turbine takes materials that come from mining and once they are up upset the migratory flight paths of birds.

We need more innovation to cure this dependancy on fossil fuels. In order to get there we need more resources. Money and manpower. There are better solutions out there we just have to be more creative. When projects like this come up we need to find ways to use them to ou

Brian F.
Brian F6 years ago

James R. This pipeline will do absolutely nothing for us to reduce our oil consumption from middle eastern nations that don't like us, because it will be sold to foreign markets overseas. As Diane F. correctly pointed out, only the Canadian oil companies will benefit at the expense of our enviroment, which will suffer from oil spills in our rivers, lakes, and streams forever. Instead of locking in dirty fossil fuel supplies that will pollute and destroy our enviroment for the next 150 years, we should invest in clean solar, wind, geothermal, wave, and biogas tecnology. The average driver drives less than 40 miles a day. The Nissan Leaf electric car can go 100 miles on a charge, and meet most of America's driving needs. We should move to alternative energy and electric cars to meet our future energy needs, fight Global Warming, and eliminate the use of oil and fossil fuels which are destroying the planet. The Kestone pipeline is a horrible deal for the United States, and will only make the Canadian oil companies rich at the expense of our enviroment.

James R.
James R.6 years ago

@Diane I took a good look at the information you presented. Some of it is valid but it is so slanted to one side that it lacks credibility. Well organized though and obviously put together by some passionate people.

I agree, a good portion of the product will be shipped over seas. But what you are failing to understand is that this is already happening. The European market has the most inflated prices. They would be fools from a business perspective to eliminate that consumer base. This is why the pipeline has to go all the way down to Texas. It is the best distribution point. It also meets up with 2 other American oil reserves along the way, one of which is the Bark reserve (oil sands) just west of the Nebraska aquifer. Which is why they wanted to run this thing through Nebraska to begin with.

My point is this: This is already happening but the oil is coming from tankers from the middle east and endangering the environment along the way.

Why is there such a big push to kill this pipeline when the worst case scenario is already being played out? Oil in boats travelling 10's of thousands of miles across multiple ecosystems from countries that don't care about the environment from oppressive nondemocratic regimes that don't believe in human rights. Please look at the broader spectrum.

Diane F.
Diane F6 years ago

James R., Actually, whatever comes out of the XL pipeline will be exported overseas. Therefore, what their proponents are saying that our prices will drop and our dependence on foreign oil will drop is a lie. Our prices will instead go up because the reserves on hand will continue to be held back just as they are today! This is nothing but a boon for our and Canada's big oil industries to continue to rape the land for disgustingly greedy profits.

An exerpt from the link:

•Keystone XL is an export pipeline. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.
•Reducing demand for oil is the best way to improve our energy security. U.S. demand for oil has been declining since 2007. New fuel-efficiency standards mean that this trend will continue once the economy gets back on track. In fact, the Energy Deptartment report on KeystoneXL found that decreasing demand through fuel efficiency is the only way to reduce mid-east oil imports with or without the pipeline.

Check it out yourself.

Ginger McClemons
Ginger M6 years ago

Don't fool yourselves. Obama is only using this as a campaign tool. As soon as he is re-elected (IF he is re-elected) he will sign the bill approving the pipeline. Are any of you foolish enough to believe this man will keep his promise after he has blatantly refused to keep any of the promises he made to get elected the first time? Vote Justice Party, Rocky Anderson. Change we can REALLY believe in.

Sharon A.
Sharon A6 years ago

Well Done!!! I already signed my letter of Thanks to the President.

KS Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.