News / USA

Obama Administration Denies Permit for Oil Pipeline from Canada

The Obama administration on Wednesday denied a permit for a new oil pipeline from Canada because it says congressional Republicans did not give the administration enough time to determine the project's impact on public safety and the environment.  The president's political opponents say the move shows he is not serious about creating jobs.

The State Department recommended that President Obama reject the application for a new crude oil pipeline from Canada's tar sands region to Texas refineries because of concerns about the proposed route through areas of the state of Nebraska that State Department officials say they did not have sufficient time to consider.

In a written statement from the White House, President Obama said the decision is not a judgment on the merits of the proposed pipeline.  It is on what the president called the “arbitrary nature” of a 60-day deadline imposed by congressional Republicans.  Mr. Obama says that deadline prevents a full assessment of the environmental, health and safety impact of the more-than-2,700-kilometer project.

White House Spokesman Jay Carney said the congressional deadline left the Obama administration no choice but to deny the pipeline application. "Sixty days is simply not enough time," he said.  "We don't even have an alternate route identified yet, so how could anyone possibly review it thoroughly, in the manner that is expected in this process?"

House of Representatives Speaker, Republican John Boehner said the president was authorized to block the project only if he believed it was not in the country's national interest.  Speaking on Capitol Hill, Boehner asked, “Is it not in the national interest to create tens of thousands of jobs here in America with private investment?”

"Is it not in the national interest to get energy resources from an ally like Canada as opposed to some countries in the Middle East?  The president had said he will do anything that he can to create jobs.  Today that promise was broken," he said.

Boehner said the decision shows the president is more concerned about politics than about creating jobs because approving the plan might have alienated Mr. Obama's supporters in U.S. environmental groups.   "The president won't stand up to his political base, even in the name of creating American jobs.  And now, Canada is going to have to look to other nations, like China, to sell its oil reserves to.  Listen, the president's policies are making the American economy worse, rather than better," he said.

Boehner said Republicans in Congress will continue to push for the pipeline because it is good for the economy and it is good for Americans, especially those who are looking for work.  It is also good for the president's political opponents in an election year, when the economy is the to priority for most voters.

The leading Republican presidential contender, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, issued a written statement saying that the president's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline is “as shocking as it is revealing.”  Romney said Mr. Obama has “once again put politics ahead of sound policy” and is demonstrating what the presidential hopeful called “a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth, and achieving energy independence.”

The State Department says its denial of the permit application does not preclude any subsequent permit application or applications for similar projects.

Kerri-Ann Jones is an Assistant Secretary in the State Department Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.  In a telephone conference call with reporters, Jones said the decision was based not on politics, but on concerns expressed last November that officials needed more time to gather more information about the project. "This is a process decision that we made based on the decision that we made on November 10 and the information that we felt we needed to really inform our decision to make sure we really had everything we needed to do the best in terms of looking at this pipeline and determining whether or not it was in the national interest," she said.

Asked what part energy independence plays in determining the national interest of pipeline projects, Jones said the Obama administration is working to reduce reliance on foreign oil. "This decision today doesn't make our commitment to energy independence and energy security any less of a priority.  It is a major priority for our country.  We are making this decision because [in] the process, we did not have the information we need to make the decision that we thought would be well informed," she said.

Pipeline applicant TransCanada is considering another proposal that would reroute the pipeline around aquifers in Nebraska's Sandhills region.  Jones said she could not give a timeline for how long a review of a new application might take.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More