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Obama Rejects Keystone Oil Pipeline

3:36 PM, Jan 18, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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National Journal reports:

In a decision sure to re-ignite a fierce energy debate, the Obama administration was announcing on Wednesday its rejection of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline because the 60-day deadline imposed by Republicans did not allow adequate time to review an alternate route through critical wetlands in the Midwest. ...

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."

In a statement, Mitt Romney said that Obama "seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest":

"President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is as shocking as it is revealing. It shows a President who once again has put politics ahead of sound policy. If Americans want to understand why unemployment in the United States has been stuck above 8 percent for the longest stretch since the Great Depression, decisions like this one are the place to begin. By declaring that the Keystone pipeline is not in the ‘national interest,’ the President demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth, and achieving energy independence. He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base.”

Update: Senate Republicans draw attention to Democrats and unions who have supported the pipeline:

INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS: “‘The Keystone Pipeline project will offer working men and women a real chance to earn a good wage and support their families in this difficult economic climate,’ said… James P. Hoffa.” (TransCanada, “U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association and Unions Pledge their Support for Keystone XL Project,” 9/14/10)

AFL-CIO: “…it is America's workers who are clamoring for the expedited approval of this important project. As President Obama has rightfully declared when it comes to the creation of jobs, ‘WE CAN'T WAIT.’” (Mark H. Ayers, President, Building And Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, “For The 99% Of Americans, Keystone = JOBS,” Huffington Post, 11/3/11) [...]

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I am for the Keystone pipeline … The Keystone pipeline, we’re addicted to oil. I'd rather use oil from my friends in Canada, than I would from the Middle East, that sounds good.” Q: “The President says he’s going to veto that though.” MANCHIN: “Well, we’ll see. I’m mean, all the trade unions, everyone’s for it, it creates thousands of jobs!” (Fox News, 12/12/11)

SEN. KENT CONRAD (D-ND): “I personally think the pipeline is absolutely in the national interest. It’ll help us reduce our dependence on foreign energy, at least foreign sources that are hostile to our interests.” (Sen. Conrad, Floor Remarks, 12/14/11)

SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): ‘Make It Go More Quickly’ Q: “My guess is if you send them back a bill that… gave them Keystone… everybody goes home for Christmas.” SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D-MO): “Well, let's hope we can negotiate something like that… if states’ rights are being protected and if this is going to be something maybe that we can try to jump start the approval process, make it go more quickly.” (MSNBC, 12/14/11)

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