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Obama Denies Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Proposal

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that he has denied the proposal for a 1,700 mile oil pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline would supply crude oil from the Canadian town of Hardisty, Alberta to Houston and Port Arthur along the Gulf Coast.

Obama claims that a 60-day deadline imposed by Congress was a “rushed an arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans”, and “prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recommended that Obama deny the proposal as well.

Some officeholders in Texas have spoken out against Obama’s decision to deny TransCanada’s proposal.

Republican U.S. Congressman Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) spoke out against the President’s decision, saying “At a time when Americans are suffering from high unemployment and high energy prices, this decision is yet another critical mistake by an out-of-touch Administration.”

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (TX- 13) discussed the issue as well, saying “Once again, they are denying the country a reliable source of energy and thousands of new American jobs.”

Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn weighed in, saying “The President has said he wakes up every morning thinking about jobs, but a decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline will do nothing but extend the jobs crisis and send thousands of U.S. jobs and valuable oil overseas. It’s a terrible example of election-year politics where the American people are collateral damage.”

Harper - Pete Marovich, Getty Images

TransCanada says that they plan to reapply for the pipeline permit, and are working to find new routes through Nebraska that would avoid areas deemed environmentally sensitive.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed the issue with Obama following the denial, and reportedly expressed that he is “profoundly disappointed” in Obama’s decision, according to the Associated Press. Obama has said that TransCanada is free to reapply.

The February 21st deadline was assigned by Congress as part of a tax bill approved by Obama before Christmas.

The Keystone XL pipeline would carry approximately 1.3 million barrels of oil per day through Nebraska, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas upon completion. TransCanada says they hope to have the pipeline completed in 2013.

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