President Barack Obama is rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline – but not completely. The Democrat is pinning the decision on Congress’ demand for a final administration answer on the controversial project within a two-month window.
He says the company building the pipeline, TransCanada, is free to reapply once a new route through Nebraska is finalized.
What happens next for the environmental hot topic, which, like hydraulic fracturing, centers around the issue of whether chemicals and hydrocarbons could contaminate water supplies?
Put more simply, the Obama administration is hitting Republicans back by saying no because of their forcing him to decide on the project in just 60 days. Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail promptly painted the decision as a rejection of thousands of American jobs purely for political reasons.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, decried the news. “President Obama is about to destroy tens of thousands of American jobs and sell American energy security to the Chinese,” said Brendan Buck. “The president won’t stand up to his political base even to create American jobs. This is not the end of this fight.”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also jumped on the news. “The president’s focused more on the next election than on the next generation.”
The White House has been trying to thread a needle between two segments of the Democratic base split over the pipeline: labor unions that support the project for the jobs it would bring, and environmentalists who oppose it for the adverse impacts that development of tar-sands oil could have on the environment.
Looking for more Keystone XL Pipeline information on this Wikipedia-free day? Check out the primer our sister site, StateImpact Texas, put together.