The controversial Keystone XL project has finally been rejected by the Obama Administration. Flanked by Vice President Biden and Secretary Kerry, President Obama said “after extensive public outreach, and consultation with other cabinet agencies, the State Department has decided that the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States. I agree with that decision.”
For their part, “TransCanada and its shippers remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project.” Small wonder — considering they first filed their application back in 2008 — and have spent at least $2.5 billion on the project so far. TransCanada will be “reviewing their options,” and will likely file a new application for a cross-border pipeline when they feel the political climate in the states is more … Republican.
Presidential candidates weighing in on the Keystone XL decision included Governor Chris Christie, who said, “Did anybody with any common sense believe that Barack Obama was ever really seriously considering the Keystone pipeline?” Not me. Senator Marco Rubio, ever the optimist, said, “When I’m president, Keystone will be approved.” So, when pigs fly?
Jeb Bush tweeted, “The Obama Admin’s politically motivated rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline is a self-inflicted attack on the U.S. economy and jobs.” Except, of course, it’s not. Far from it, Jeb!
During his remarks at the White House, President Obama said, “While our politics have been consumed by a debate about whether or not this pipeline would create jobs or lower gas prices, we’ve gone ahead and created jobs and lowered gas prices.”
Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal (yes, I know, I know — but he is still “officially” in the running to be POTUS) tweeted, ”President Obama is bowing to radical environmentalists and snubbing thousands of high quality, high paying energy sector jobs.” He’s nothing if he’s not being hyperbolic.
The president addressed the political nature of the proposed pipeline directly, saying, “For years, the Keystone pipeline has occupied what I frankly consider an overinflated role in our political discourse. It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties, rather than a serious policy matter.
“And all of this obscured the fact that this pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others.”
The timing of the announcement likely coincides with the president’s trip to Paris next month for the U.N. sponsored talks on climate change. It would be difficult to attempt to broker an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions, with the specter of this ‘environmental catastrophe waiting to happen’ left unresolved.
Newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and cooperation.”
New House Speaker, Paul Ryan, issued a statement, saying, “This decision isn’t surprising, but it is sickening.” No, what’s “sickening,” Paul, is calling for bipartisanship out of one side of your mouth — and then saying, “I don’t think we can trust the president” from the other.
What we know to be a fact, and what the president affirmed today, is that “the pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy. So, if Congress is serious about wanting to create jobs, this was not the way to do it.” Are you listening, Mr. Speaker?
“What we should be doing is passing a bipartisan infrastructure plan that, in the short term, could create more than 30-times as many jobs per year as the pipeline would, and, in the long-run, would benefit our economy and our workers for decades to come.”
Watch the complete remarks from the president here.