President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline today got some backflips of happiness from people who opposed it, and also a couple of cautionary notes that this is not over yet. “read the statement, there is not much to celebrate, really…” wrote one commenter on a Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline post.
The full text of Mr. Obama’s statement is below:
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, 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. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
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. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.
Executives for TransCanada, which wants to build Keystone, tell the Omaha World they’ll back up and start again: “We will reapply for a presidential permit and expect a new application would be processed in an expedited manner to allow for an in-service date of late 2014.”