Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Four Reasons Why Obama Decided Against the Keystone XL Pipeline

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama at a meeting in Washington on Jan. 17

On Wednesday the Obama administration officially rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would take oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

The president said in a statement that his decision was “not a judgment” on the merits of the Keystone XL pipeline, rather it was based on the “arbitrary nature of the deadline.”

But after making that statement the administration also sent a report to Congress detailing why they decided against the pipeline, and there are more reasons than just the deadline. The report is short, just five pages, and it’s actually readable (we’ve embedded it below), but here are a few quick takeaways:

  • Many estimates of the potential jobs created by the pipeline are way off. “Regarding employment,” the report says, “the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would likely create several thousand temporary jobs associated with construction; however, the project would not have a significant impact on long-term employment in the United States.” It goes on to note that while some have projected hundreds of thousands of jobs as a result of the pipeline, “this inflated number appears to be a misinterpretation of one of the economic analyses prepared on the pipeline.” 
  • In fact, the pipeline would only result in a few thousand jobs. “Based on the amount of money the applicant projects it would spend on labor in building the pipeline, and the number of construction crews likely to be used in constructing the pipeline, the final EIS [Environmental Impact Study] estimated there would be approximately 5,000 to 6,000 direct construction jobs in the United States that would last for the two years that it would take to build the pipeline,” the report says.
  • And the overall economic impact would be minimal. Relying on the Environmental Impact Study prepared by the State Department for the pipeline in late August, the administration says that ”over the remainder of this decade, even if no new cross-border pipelines were constructed, there is likely to be little difference in the amount of crude oil refined at U.S. refineries, the amount of crude oil and refined products such as gasoline imported to (or exported from) the United States, the cost of crude oil or refined products in the United States, or the amount of crude oil imported from Canada.”
  • By rejecting Keystone, we’re not losing out on massive amounts of oil. The administration’s report to Congress says that “there is currently excess cross-border pipeline capacity, but limited connections to the U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.” But the administration says there are ways of getting that oil to refineries in Texas without the Keystone XL, namely through “other new domestic pipelines, expansions or reversals of existing pipelines, and other modes of transport such as rail, that could play a role in increasing imports of crude oil from Canada to the United States, including to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast area.”
Read the full report:

Further reading: You can also read our roundup of the different reactions to the decision, our conversation with a Texas professor on why the pipeline is inevitable, and the Washington Post‘s 5 Myths About the Keystone XL Pipeline.


  • Cynth217

    Some Congress members must own or have friends who own the land the pipeline would have gone through.

  • Walter McGerry

    So glad that our President is standing up!

    • Jmccloud2010

      Yes standing up to job creation, well done.  He knows absolutely nothing about economics (please see Solyandra disaster).  This will create more than 5,000 jobs.  With maintenance costs and companies contracted throughout the US to maintain the pipeline it will keep keep employed for a long time.  Just because his solar panel project was a disaster doesn’t mean he has to take out his frustrations on the pipeline.

      • Guest

        have you read the part that there is enough cross border pipeline capacity to absorb the imports, and reconfiguring the pipes in Canada could do the job? Where does efficiency fit in all this? how about potential environmetal costs? Nebraska is against it as it is presented.

      • barbarian

        go watch fox news and duck palins dick a lil longer.

      • Free at last

        Solyandra was started by Bush. get off your cloud and accept facts

        • Bhp253

          But approved by O’Bummer…

          • Anonymous

            Obama and bush(and GOP presidential candidates) are pretty much the same they’d pnt care about the average American and only care what money they can make. They all seem to come together when it comes to taking away the rights of Americans(national def. auth. Act)
            Ad there is a new bill coming up that will allow American citizens both birthed and foreign to have their citizenship taken away. Yes terrorism is bad but one mans terrorist is another’s freedom fighter; the founders were terrorists. In the mind of the government at the time. Had they lost.

          • JonA

            also he granted them $528,000,000. yet again the liberals attack bush… bring it on you guys are like a broken record

      • Musicman6891

        There are other ways to make jobs than an oil pipeline…..what do we do when the pipeline breaks? (After all oil companies have a stellar record preventing that sort of thing) Everyone thinks in economics but people don’t seem to think about environment

        • Anonymous

          Uhhh…you clean it up? Let’s all live in a bubble or go back to the dark ages and live under Taliban rules because that’s the utopian way to live..

          • Thirion86

            Yes, risking an environmental disaster is worth a couple thousand temporary jobs. I guess the clean up would employ a lot of people as well though, so it’s all good for the economy!

        • Mecanix23

          So you’re saying we shouldn’t do something because there “might” be a problem? Well you “might” get hit by a bus so you shouldn’t leave your house. Your reasoning is asinine. I’ve worked in an oil refinery (the largest on the east coast) for the last 8 years and we actually do have a stellar record in preventing that sort of thing. If you had even the slightest idea of how a refinery works and the amount of safety precautions and maintenance involved you would be shocked on what is prevented on a weekly basis. Considering the work that is being done, the thousands of gallons of crude pumped in an out, the process of refining and the amount of chemicals that are being handled, the safety and accident records are lower than any manufacturing company. And IF there was a spill that would just cause more jobs for the clean up.

        • tnt1966

          Oil companies actually do have a stellar record preventing that sort of thing. Go check the facts. Maybe if you were president of an oil company others could learn from you .

      • Tommy

        A few things to this arrogant comment,
        1. The article preempted your argument and you didn’t respond.  The amount of jobs are not only minimal, but none of them are permanent.  Even if does create some jobs to maintenance, that will be traded off with the other pipeline.  
        2. The impact it would have on the environment outweighs the jobs it would produce.  Even if we spot you the “5,000″ jobs that it would create, the fact that it would DEVASTATE the environment in which it is built through.  On top of that, the a contractor that would be hired to build it has publicly stated the safety hazards with it and the high chance of a leak.  
        3. There won’t be “new jobs”, the bill just hires contractors that already exists.  Meaning that people who ALREADY CURRENTLY have a job will be building it.

        • Mrs S Cannon

          Yes, but the jobs the contrators won’t be doing will give another person work.

        • Anonymous

          So how is this different to the “1000′s” of shovel ready construction jobs that Obama has touted? Besides this is not US gov money?

          • Anonymous

            Could not have said it better myself!

        • Falloutofthewindow

          And it was an arbitrary deadline… meaning what? That we needent tap every keg at once? More oil won’t create a stonger market for natural gas?

      • A_Nonamoose

        and where did you get your PhD in economics and./or natural resource management? Harvard? (oh, I’m sorry, that Mr. Obama’s school… you must have gone to Princeton, Yale, Cornell, or Penn)

        • Actually, I have a degree in Economics, and he is pretty spot on.  In general terms economics is the study and management of resources and the effect supply and demand plays upon the cost and access of them; and ultimately natural resources.  If your model does not address the costs and risks of an environmental disaster, then you do not have an accurate economic/financial model.  A corporation will leave out this cost from their models, because they know that currently, it is society that will be left to pay this cost as the laws are written today.   

        • Reeddoodle

          Just the same as Mitt and half the congress you and I voted for. Be nice people.

      • Ip

        i like how a guy named jmccloud2010 has such a vast working knowledge of the economy…the republicans have found a newcomer in the 2012 election.

        • Jprice

          they need one…

      • Jeff D.

        Wow, 5000 jobs for two years. Seriously? I would warrant that if anyone doesn’t know anything about “economics” it wouldn’t be the President in this case. Read the report. Also, keep in mind XL isn’t dead, it’s only been delayed. Again, read the report.

        • Thanks for reading and commenting, Jeff D. The view that the pipeline will go forward at some point isn’t an unusual one, and reading Obama’s statement and this letter seems to leave open that possibility. We reported yesterday on how the pipeline could still go forward and how the Obama decision may simply be a delay until after the election: 


          • Reeddoodle

            They have already built lots of the pipeline here in USA go on to the proposed pipeline site and you can see We Were sold out again but these have been in the works for some time like during last years. Its just now being told to most US citizens because they are deciptive to us all.

      • Fredsanford

        And there would be many jobs created for cleanup from spills. The last pipeline by that company had 14 failures the first year.

      • Reggie

        Boy, did Karl Rove do a number on you. Smarten up. You have the president you have ever had. America is exporting more oil than it imports. You need leadership, not more dumbed down waste like you had with Bush. 

      • “Job creation” for who?  Not Americans.  Read the report.  It’s a Canadian pipeline.  It creates “jobs” but a large majority of the long term economic impact isn’t in our country.   

      • Reeddoodle

        Solyandra was actually George Bushes deal it just so happen that the cycle of the funding fell on Obama watch. Know your facts before you speak. If you think around 6000 partime jobs is job creation we know why we are in this mess now.We think clean air and clean water supercide PROFITS for oil companies

        • Jphoffa

          some people are just stuck on stupid…lol

      • justme

        I don’t get your argument, you’re citing government funding for a failed project as a reason to SUPPORT THIS PROJECT???? Your logic escapes me.

      • Diversq

        Maybe if the Chinese were not susodising their solar panels and selling them below cost in the US, the company might have had a chance.

      • Icelander77

        A lot of the jobs are to be Canadian..   Tar sands cost more to crack it is as bad a Venesualian oil only good for roads. 

    • grow a pair of balls walter…your a freggin tree hugger

      • Lstop

        You might want to research the origination of the word ‘tree hugger’ before you think you are criticizing someone….it’s actually a compliment…..ignorant politicians turned it into a negative description.

  • Kristina420

    Why can’t they build refinerys up north, so the oil doesn’t have to travel all the way to Texas to get refined? Wouldn’t a few refinerys in the north east create more steady jobs in towns that lost may manufacturing jobs to foreign plants?

    • Liberty2386

      Very expensive! “they who”?

      • LW

        the question mark goes inside the quotation 

        • WndringAramean

          Not always, it depends on which style you’re following.

      • A_Nonamoose

        “they” the idiots demanding a pipeline to their refieries in Texas.  But you’re right–cost and ROI are driving their lobbying efforts to get some OPM (other people’s money) to cover the economic costs of the environmental problems so they can profit off the cheap transportation of oil through the pipeline.

    • Anon

      There is a federal ban on building new refineries thanks to the EPA.

      • BlakGayMan

        There is not a federal ban.  There are new federal standards, that the Oil Industry is too cheap to comply with.  They have been retofitting existing refineries for over 30 years.  Exxon could build a new oil refinery for less than half of the PROFITS they made last quarter.

      • Reeddoodle

        so they build it in Canada where the oil is.

    • GayBlakMan

      OH my GOd!  It’s like you read my mind.  For the price of 1 pipeline we could biuild two state of the art refineries that meet all of the current environmental standards.  If we’re gonna use fossil fuels should we at least bring some clean refineries online to process them? 

      How do we get the White House on board?

    • You have a good point, Kristina420. There is in fact another Canadian company, Enbridge, currently looking at building a pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver, a proposal that has also met with controversy. In our conversation with UT professor William Fisher yesterday, he noted that Canada is “going to build another line to Vancouver. It’s gonna be produced, they’re going to to go up to 5 or 6 million barrels a day. And if we don’t do it, it’s total stupidity. But that doesn’t mean that won’t happen — our energy policy is full of a lot of stupidity.”

    • Jprice

      they dont want anymore refinerys ,thats how they control the price..

      • BlakGayMan

        The lack of refineries is how they control prices.  The few refineries that are online can slow down production and drive up prices.  More refineries  means more capacity and more refined oil available.  It should translate into lower prices, but Oil execs will fine a new way to protect their outrageous profits.

    • Falloutofthewindow

      Does it work better in a warm climate at sea level? I don’t know.

    • Bdelia

      President Bush tried to get another refinery built on his first term and was put down with the logic of “it would take years to finish”.  Well it never got started, and time goes on.  That location surely would make sense Kristina.  After refined the oil would be transported to our ports without the use of a pipeline.  Solutions are important, and blame gets America nowhere…  Solyndra was not George Bush’s deal, it was on the table at his time of presidency and was put on hold, due to the financial uncertainty.  It was taken off hold by Obama.  The opinion of the pre-Obama presidency was taken, but not given much merit.  Bush put on hold (caution) and Obama provided the American taxpayers funds to such a “Green” Company, disregarding their very weak financial status.  The decision was made and acted on by Obama.  It was celebrated on TV news that Solyndra was a wonderful environmental company with Obama celebrating
      at their facility.  It did fit for green but not for providing funds to a failing company.


  • Fmr56

    Well I guess it if only puts 5 – 6k people to work for a temporary amount of time than were probably better off just keeping those people on welfare. Who is this man? Why is he the president of the US? He has no depth, no innovative ideas, no means of creating jobs, only preventing them. He got a great degree, wrote a book and now is qualified to run the free world? Yes America, we are in trouble.

    • Anonymous

      Please STFU and crawl back into your cave.

      • Anonymous

        Nice factual retort…

    • Bridget51992

      This pipeline would have had devastating environmental impacts, which is the best reason I can think of for its rejection. Those people may have missed out on temporary jobs, but they would have come at a far greater cost.

      • Caroleahayes

        yeah keep putting our money into Volts and green energy like Solandra.

    • Cah1470

      Yes it’s always better to get what we want when we want despite the longterm affects right?Get real Fmr56 we need someone to finally think beyond sending people a tax refund check we can’t pay for or building a pipeline so employment numbers look good during election season.

    • Lukeburow

      I suppose the pipeline will create even more temporary jobs when it inevitably leaks and the spill needs to be cleaned up.

    • LibertyNow

      *then, not “than.”  *we’re, not “were.”  And don’t forget, Nebraska (and its REPUBLICAN governor) firmly OBJECTED to this pipeline going straight through one of the state’s most important aquifers–their source of clean drinking water.  Unfortunately, Republicans in congress played politics with this, trying to force the President’s hand and make a quick decision.  Well, the fact is that TransCanada (the builder of the pipeline) asked for a few months to find a new route through Nebraska so that they could submit it for environmental review by the State Department.  The Republicans in Congress ignored this and demanded the President make a decision immediately, before there is even a new route planned. 

      So, in answer to your question: yes, he is quite qualified to run the free world.  He can actually THINK, unlike most Republicans in this country. 

      • Anon

        Acutally Congress only asked for a yes or no on eventually being able to build it after the newly needed survey was done.

        • LibertyNow

          Sorry, that’s not correct.  They wanted a yes or no to the *current* proposal.  Since the current proposal is incomplete without an alternate route through Nebraska, President Obama made the right decision.  Mind you–I have no doubts that this pipeline will be approved down the line.  Just not this round.  And, yes–I think I want it approved.  Any oil that doesn’t come from overseas is a good idea to me.  But this was not the *right* proposal. 

          • There are ongoing conversations between the Nebraska government and the company behind the proposed pipeline, on how to re-route the line through the environmentally sensitive regions of Nebraska:

            Yesterday the Washington Post reported that “the administration will allow TransCanada to reapply after it develops an alternate route through the sensitive habitat of Nebraska’s Sandhills.” The paper writes that TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, is expected to “submit a new route proposal for the Nebraska leg of the pipeline within two weeks.”

            Here’s our previous reporting on how the Nebraska government is helping Transcanada reroute the pipeline: 


    • enlightened

      Uh, his name is Mr. Obama, in case you do not educate yourself. Do you think that environmental devastation is no concern to secure a few temporary jobs? You probably do. You are probably not educated in natural resource economy. And who says that the workers getting those jobs are now on welfare? Reports show that most employers are hiring those already employed. No guarantee their previous positions would be filled. A great degree and published research are a lot better qualifications to run a country than most candidates, especially those who see ONLY profit margins, and not people. 

      • I have a challenge for Mr. Obama. Seemingly, every job analysis involved with the oil & gas industry is always dismissed or claimed to be exaggerated by this administration. OK. SURE would love to see the “stimulus package” and other government programs subjected to this high level of srutiny. I wonder what the facts would reveal? 

    • Ip

      comments like this lack imagination…

    • WhiteCanary

      Only in trouble if the Republican / Tea Party get any more power. THEY are the ones stopping the president from making progress just as they promised they would the moment he was elected… well who knew politicians could keep a promise, it just figures they would keep that one even if the welfare of the United States was at stake.

    • GayBlakMan

      Ummm the clean initiatives the President has proposed would create 60,000 permanent jobs.  He’s Barack Hussein Obama and daily he proves why he deserves to be president of the U.S.

    • Rboska48

      Again, please look at the facts. There have been more private sector jobs produced & public sector jobs cut in  the 3 years of the Obama administration than in all 8 years of the Bush administration. If you’re interested in getting more in touch with reality, try reading this view from a more objective, although admittedly pro biased place: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/15/andrew-sullivan-how-obama-s-long-game-will-outsmart-his-critics.html?wpisrc  Also, please consider that evidence based criticism of our political leaders & their policies is patriotic while demeaning comments based on gossip & unsupported beliefs are merely treasonous.

    • guest

      And Bush was soooo much better hmmm…. let me think two worthless wars, economic collapse(which everyone blames on Obama), and a new generation of people who hate america.  Yep we should bring back Bush.  NOT!!!

      • Bdelia

        Now the wars are decided by the President, but aren’t declared wars…  No one approved the drone strikes but Obama.   Undeclared wars are the new way to address not being in wars….   Words are nothing more than words. 

    • Diversq

      You don’t have a clue or good numbers…..what dark place did you pull them out of?

  • Lmartin3733

    The GOP asked for it. They knew there wasn’t time to evaluate the impact but they want to contiunally make Obama look bad. It’s too bad that the average person isn’t smart enough to see what the GOP is really up to.

    • honoluluguest

      3 years isn’t enough time? All this President does is maneuver for reelection and blame other people for his problems and poor choices.

      • LibertyNow

        No, there wasn’t enough time to evaluate an alternate route through Nebraska, since that route hasn’t even been determined yet.  Get it together. 

        • Nebraskan

          Ya, and actually professors at the Univ of Nebraska testified that true environmental studies had not been done.  Nebraskans never protest, so you know for them to go to DC something really bad was about to go down. 

      •  I know I’m late here but—ARE YOU SERIOUS?  People like you are followers of money.  The chances are that you will never see a portion of the profits, kickbacks, lobbying perks, or corporate tax breaks enjoyed by the corporate rich and their republican lapdogs.  Not only are you an idiot, you’re a republican lapdog who suffers with the rest of the country after supporting these selfish, greedy people.

  • Veroskro

    Bravo, thank’s obama for this precious decision!

  • Liberty2386

    Seems like there is absolutely no reason not to go ahead this based on his letter. Just wants to keep the environmentalist vote and mess with Congress as payback for the payroll tax.

    • Rachellea72

      You must seriously lack reading comprehension skills. Sad. Would you allow the pipeline to run through your backyard? I mean since you’re so for it regardless of the environmental impact it may have.

  • Viensell

    i understand it all about jobs, but it attaching to the payroll tax to force it to go through is dumb. i know its oil but with our country more enviromental than ever i mean we could have drill more off shore , going through 4 states and then ended up in texas, well texas is always been republican and has more lobbyists in congress. i am in seattle where gas prices are always high. the oil wont effect my gas prices

  • Anonymous

    once again obama makes a bad decision and blames it on someone else… he is never accountable for anything… when will you followers see that? he is just trying to get elected for a 2nd term and he plays more games than anyone in his job has ever played and you all give him a pass… this would have been jobs… it is not the environmental disaster you have been brainwashed into thinking… there would have been jobs for people in every state in many ways…not the just the contrstuction of the pipeline.. you really  like buying our energy fuel from Iran and OPEC… really… wait till you are paying 5-7 bucks a gallon…

    We cannot afford 4 more years of this man and his agenda… America needs to build itself again not continue to destroy it from the top

    • Wwrightwa

      We cannot afford 4 years of a president who only sees short term goals and bows to multi national conglomerates.  Pres. Obama is looking to the future, and the future is wind, solar, hydro, and bio mass energy.  We must stop our addiction to oil.  Why in the world would you risk an oil spill (remember BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico?) in some of the richest agricultural land in the world?  Why would you risk polluting drinking water for millions of people?   The long term consequences of this pipeline would be disastrous!  I am proud of  Pres. Obama.

      • jake8jazz

        well said, Wwrightwa!

    • Racka Fracka

      And who CAN we afford 4 years of? Newt Gingrich? Mitt Romney? Let’s review.

      Gingrich: A former Speaker of the House of Representatives. Resigned while under investigation for ethics violations. Sought to impeach President Clinton for basically cheating on his wife, while Gingrich himself was, well, cheating on his wife.

      Romney: A businessman and former Governor of Massachusetts. Claims to NOT be a career politician while perpetually running for office. Lambasts President Obama’s health legislation as “Obamacare”, “socialism”, having implemented a similar idea as Mass. Governor. Newly minted “conservative” who is subsequently labeled as “more liberal than Ted Kennedy” on social issues.

      Really?? I won’t even discuss this unrealistic claim:

       ”there would have been jobs for people in every state in many ways…not the just the contrstuction of the pipeline.. ”

      When, where, HOW?

    • WhiteCanary

      You really believe the tripe you are writing, don’t you ?

    • guest

      OK they say america is polarized politically.  False.  We are polarized mentally, there is dumb and not dumb.  DKLL52 dumb.

  • Jsdille

    Or maybe all the analyses confirms his promises to environmentalists and his need for their continued support in his re-election. He is going to force us into “green” energy even if we run out of enery waiting for that to develop…………

  • Julian

    Let’s create jobs by creating infrastructure that allows us to create a products by shipping halfway across the continent (potentially: world?) several times before it is finished!

  • Wwrightwa

    I am proud of Pres. Obama for standing up to the oil companies.  He also refused to bow down to the Republicans who are not interested in working for the good of the country, but they are only  interested in “embarrassing” the president or putting him in an unworkable situation.   More long term, well paying jobs will be created with alternative energy companies, weatherization projects, and “weaning” ourselves from our oil addiction.  

  • BigTex4Obama…..

    I understand both sides of the argument and will probably process some of that crude in Port Arthur.  But, a former engineer on the project stated tar sands crude is 10x more corrosive that Arabian crude which can cause more leaks.  Also, the Red state of Nebraska both houses and the Governor had a case of NIMBY.  But my main point is I don’t think the tamped down job number of 5-6K is true.  I current work @a Shell plant which will be the largest plant in North America as far as barrels per day crude.  We’re expanding from 280K/day to 600K/day, which we should be up to that rate around May(hopefully).  It took between 10K-15K people to build the project(7 units) and when complete, only 96 USW operators will operate the unit.  Not counting E/I and Mechanical.  A pipeline is a more simple operation which will require about half of the manpower to build if your believe Trans-Canada’s numbers and problably far less to operate.  But fear not XL supporters, if T-C gets a better route and nobody gets a case of NIMBY, the pipeline will be permitted….

    • LibertyNow

      Finally, some sense.  Thanks, BIGTEX!

    • Blouipee

      You lost all credibility to your argument when you said both houses in Nebraska …
      Nebraska has only one house!

      • BigTex4Obama…..

        My bad.  Just assumed they were bi-carmel(sp)

    • WndringAramean

      Ok, it’s a small quibble, but there aren’t “both houses.”  Nebraska is the only unicameral in the nation.

  • WhiteCanary

    If everyone is so hot to build a pipeline build one from the ever flooding Mississippi River to the states that live in drought. Pipe water not oil, save billions of dollars that are spent to fix flood damage while precious water goes out to sea. Or does that make too much sense ?.

    • Anon

      “precious water goes out to sea”  This is not the 1950′s.  Educate yourself on how exactly the Earth works please.  We need flood zones.  We need water reaching the sea.  We need habitat for important species of animals to live.

    • BigTex4Obama…..

      I agree Canary.  Why hasn’t technology developed wholesale to de-salinize sea water?  There should be no such thing as drought in this country….

      • Desalinization takes a lot of energy, thus leading us to the question  of whether or not it is cost effective/environmentally sound.

      • Anonymous

        Desalinization is a huge area of research and development. It’s a critical issue in places like the Middle East and Australia. However, there have been no massive breakthrough achievements that will make desalinization cheap and energy efficient while producing the quantities needed. It’s not that people haven’t been trying – it’s just not that easy.

        • BigTex4Obama…..

          I’ll ask my co-worker but doesn’t the Navy use desalinized water on their aircraft carriers???

          • Anonymous

            They do in fact use desalinization. I didn’t mean to imply that no one was using it. There are desalinization plants all over the world. They just use a lot of energy and produce water that is relatively expensive. The further you need to get it away from the ocean the more expensive it become (you usually need to pump it up hill after all). So it’s not a great solution for the worlds water needs but with more research they may be able to bring the costs down. At least then communities close to the ocean can make use of that instead of aquifer or river water.

  • Shawn Gould

    Thank you Mr. President for being a Churchill and not a Chamberlain in the face of a grave problem like the XL Pipeline. Woo hoo!

  • Pduna72312

    Given the windfall profits the oil companies have experienced thanks to Dubya’s administrations policies and the financial markets speculation, it would seem reasonable that they reinvest some of the profits into new refineries closer to the canadian border.  I know, I know EPA regs increase the initial construction costs, but the long term benefits would seem to outweigh the construction costs.  It is popular to accuse Obama of shortsightedness but at least he shows some concern for the environment unlike corporate America whose toxic waste and destructive methods (ie. strip mining, etc) are still costing millions to repair today.

  • cdot

    The Keystone permit request asks for the lightest pipe allowed, runs through the largest fresh water aquifer on the planet and through an active earthquake zone. The water in question is the drinking water for 2 million people and used for 20 billion dollars of agriculture per year. Use the pipelines already in place. The oil delivered to Texas is earmarked for export as gasoline and diesel fuel. Two refineries are closing this year in Penn. We already have more refineries than we need and they take about 8-10 years to come on line when building a new one. The US was a net exporter of gasoline in 2011. While we conserve our resources the Chinese will be the largest user of fossil fuels in 15 years or less.
    The western provinces of Canada refused the pipeline permits to try to build to Vancouver and export from there. Reason:many of the same environmental concerns we have. 
    There are better ways in place. We need a real energy policy. Not the one we have now: “cheap gas at any price”.

    • The pipeline would be 36 inches around and some are concerned that the more corrosive nature of the Canadian oil sands crude could present difficulties. We reported on this a bit yesterday:

      One issue that environmental groups have latched on to in opposition to the pipeline is the potential corrosive effects of the crude being extracted from the oil sands of Canada. The “oil” being extracted is technically bitumen, a mixture of clay, sand, water, and oil that with modern technology can be refined into usable oil. Environmentalists say the process of refining tar sand will create large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and that bitumen may be more corrosive to the pipelines than your typical crude. Reuters has more:”A study done last year for the provincial government of Alberta, home to Canada’s oil sands, found diluted bitumen was no more corrosive to pipelines than conventional oil, but noted there was no definitive peer-reviewed research on the issue.President Barack Obama signed a new pipeline safety law earlier this month containing a little-noticed provision for a study on diluted bitumen that may answer some of the questions. The provision mandates the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to analyze the risks of the oil, review its regulations, and present its results to Congress in the next 18 months.”http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/01/18/where-things-stand-on-the-keystone-xl-pipeline/ 

  • Erin08202011

    I have a question.  Regarding the fact that it would only create temporary jobs for two years.  How could only two years be temporary.  Doesn’t have a plan to pick up the economy anyway? So in two years wouldn’t the economy be back to normal? Also, I remember during the holiday season when countless retails stores hire “seasonal temps” everyone was so excited because the unemployment rate went down.  I would think two years would be something to get more excited about than a two MAYBE three month job at a department store.

    • Erin08202011


  • Eric Michel

    Those look like some pretty lame reasons to me.

  • sam

    Nice PR release from Obama, thinly disguised as a news article. But hey oil is EVIL right? No matter where, no matter what, if you’re Obama. He actually wants the price to go up. That will kill even more jobs. He just wants to make sure his big donors are on his side since he’ll need a lot of money to convince people to vote for him again, despite his record. His advisers are already planning to go all out in destroying the reputation of whoever the GOP candidate is. Nice guy.

  • Lakota Dot

    If it were to break, the  world hunger would be disastrous. It is right in the middle of the aquafer that supplies the water to “the food basket of the world”.  We all know that nothing ever goes wrong! goes wrong! goes wrong!.  Prob. the workers would bring in their own people to do the work, not the locals.  They  usually do, here or abroad & it may not take many to take care of the “upkeep?”. 

  • voiceofreason

    Helloooo…  why does all the oil need to be moved to Texas??  Why don’t the oil companies use some of those huge profits they’ve been making off high gas prices to build new refineries in North Dakota that would employ thousands of people permanently??  I think some Texas billionaires are behind this stupid idea that all the oil needs to be refined in Texas!  And as usual expect the federal govt to give them a huge land grab to make it happen!!

  • Forwardwego

    A few things to consider…
    1. Its past due time to invest in a Green Energy future and the reason is obvious, because things like solar, wind and other resources open the door to new wealth and challenge the old and dying insular power elite. Of course oil has a huge role in the process especially on the manufacturing end and away from direct use for transportation, but the fact remains that these greedy bastards want it all including the puppet 2 party government.
    2. Obama is not the enemy, ignorance and greed are
    3. Never argue with a troll, they are a waste of time and energy

  • Heidi Little

    Forget all of that old archaic crap and make real sustainable jobs for Americans and Canadians GO GREEN !!!! Put the money in the green developement and it won’t have wholes for long.

  • T. Swing

    It is like the fact that someday we will run out of nasty fossil fuel. Anyone knows that what we pay at the pump is a phoney pricing. “They” can control the price any day. Who says that the new sands oil production will not only add significant air and water pollution, but that the final gasoline products in Texas will be sold ovrseas at a higher price? Why not refine the oil in the Midwest?  Because there are no big ships there to sell it overseas. Isn’t a lot of “our” Alaskan oil shipped overseas for a better price?

  • Ednbarbk

    So far, I haven’t heard these explanations on the radio.  Have they been broadcast, or will they?

  • Lynnette

    we need to get OFF of oil and ON to renewable clean energy such as
    solar, wind, magma and the likes. the is plenty of sunshine and wind to
    last for a lot longer than stupid dirty polluting oil

  • mj

    It would be horrendous if a  president disallowed oil produciing capabilites, thus supplying jobs in the US market, and cheaper oil to us.  Jobs would be temporary, and oil quantities would be minimal:  The potential for environmental hazards, though, could be horrendous and everlasting.  Those in strip mining and coal mining know the consequences of being ill prepared.  Without enough time to study the project, more pollution, and potential physiological side effects to our children’s children is very important to me.  In my opinion it was a good decision.

  • Fannie1980

    What about the oil that is still underground in Texas, such as Spindletop.  Do we know how much oil is still untapped there? What is the probability of restarting those pumps going again.

  • LovesGreen

    And while we are all working hard to clean up the oil spill that has saturated our water supply. Where are we going to get the fresh, clean, cool water to rehydrate ourselves????

  • Do you really think the Keystone pipeline will lower the price of gas.NO it wont….and will only creaet 5000 jobs that will be laid off after the completion…..youre better off building a rail system,,,much cheaper………get you head outts your arse…

  • I understand that the proposed pipeline was to run adjacent to our water lines that feed Americas breadbasket. Obama asked it be moved to put our wheat and cornfields out of harms way should there be a breach in the line. The Republicans dont want to move it as they own the land rights along the existing water lines, and dont want to forego the profits paid for the land rights useage. Thats the bottom line.

  • Dan Goldsmith

    This is why

  • bill ding

    Obama is a muslim, and is sensitive to the current hysteria in Saudi, Iran and Kuwait about the falling price of oil attributed largely to the threat of the pipeline. All those men wearing dresses in the desert may have to start working for a living with oil at $30 a barrel instead of $90. Iran already said its their national security issue at stake if oil prices stablize at current levels. So the muslim in chief wants to create his own little jihad to save his buddies from having to eat pork. Why Americans tolerate a muslim, wearing an Azan ring in our white house is beyond me. Monkey care has already destroyed much of our medical system, doctors are fleeing their offices rather than see 50 patients a day just to make payroll. My own doctor was just replaced by some turd in a turbin who got his medical license on a Caribbean island who knows where, and told me to eat avocados to lower my cholesterol, regardless of the 50 pounds I will gain. Great. So,ill do like the cubans, add Jesus to my name, spell it backwards and give a fake address, go to the emergency room, get treated and they wont be able to send me a bill. Cubans been doing that for years, Ive witnessed it. I win, at least till the hospital closes its doors. The libtards all know better, right……

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