. Energy News .

Obama rejects high-stakes Canada pipeline
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Jan 18, 2012

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, saying he could not vouch for its safety by a deadline despite intense election-year pressure.

Obama's political rivals had given him 60 days to make a decision on whether to approve the $7 billion, 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) pipeline route through the Great Plains to Texas, forcing him to choose between environmentalists and industry.

The Obama administration said TransCanada Corporation could resubmit the Keystone XL project but that officials were not able to assess its plan by a February 21 deadline put into law by the Republican majority in Congress.

"This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people," Obama said in a statement.

"I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision but it does not change my administration's commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil," said Obama, who initially hoped to make a decision in 2013.

TransCanada quickly said it planned to reapply for a permit. Senior State Department official Kerri-Ann Jones said that the administration would undertake a "completely new review process" for any resubmitted plan.

The oil pipeline has turned into a major issue in US politics, with environmentalists waging months of street protests against it and the oil industry funding an advertising blitz saying the project would immediately create shovel-ready jobs amid a weak economy.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed "profound disappointment" in a telephone call to Obama and repeated warnings that he would look to other markets such as China to sell oil.

Harper, a conservative and critic of efforts to curb climate change, voiced hope for the future of the project "given the significant contribution it would make to jobs and economic growth" in both countries.

Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to challenge Obama in November, meanwhile called the Democratic president's decision "as shocking as it is revealing."

"The president demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth and achieving energy independence," Romney said in a statement as he campaigned in South Carolina.

House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, accused Obama of failing to stand up to his political base "even in the interest of creating jobs."

"President Obama is destroying tens of thousands of American jobs and shipping American energy security to the Chinese," Boehner said.

But environmentalists have raised fears of an accident along the proposed route, which would run through sensitive terrain like the Sand Hills of Nebraska, where residents are widely opposed to the pipeline.

"His decision represents a triumph of truth over Big Oil's bullying tactics and its disinformation campaign with wildly exaggerated jobs claims," said Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In an assessment submitted to Congress, the State Department said TransCanada's stated plans would result in 5,000 to 6,000 US construction jobs for two years but not lead to significant longer-term employment.

The pipeline would carry crude oil from Alberta's tar sands, which emit an unusually high amount of carbon -- blamed by scientists for the planet's rising temperatures and chaotic weather.

Representative Ed Markey, a Democrat and leading US advocate of fighting climate change, said TransCanada could not guarantee the oil would stay in the United States.

"This pipeline would have taken the dirtiest oil on the planet, sent it snaking across the Midwest in an already-leaky pipeline, only to be exported to foreign markets once it reached the Gulf Coast," he said.

Anti-Keystone protest leader Bill McKibben, founder of the activist group 350.org, said Obama's decision took bravery.

"The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he's too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact 'huge political consequences,' he's stood up strong," McKibben said.

Damon Moglen, climate and energy director at Friends of the Earth, called the decision "an iconic victory" in the fight against climate change.

"The Keystone XL fight was David versus Goliath -- no one thought we could win," Moglen said.

Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

Canada-US pipeline's troubled path
Montreal (AFP) Jan 18, 2012 - The Keystone pipeline, constructed by the Canadian group TransCanada, whose extension has been rejected by the United States, already connects Alberta with terminals in Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The proposed 2,700 kilometer (1,700 mile) extension, called Keystone XL, would follow a different route to cut through the Great Plains to Port Arthur in Texas on the Gulf of Mexico.

The pipeline with a diameter of 914 mm (36 inches) was to include the existing links with Nebraska, which opened in June 2010, and Oklahoma, which opened in February 2011.

Once completed, it would be able to transport 1.3 million barrels of oil per day, according to forecasts by TransCanada. The pipeline currently moves 590,000 barrels per day to Illinois and Oklahoma.

The Keystone XL project, an investment of $7 billion, was fought by American environmentalists who argued it would pose a risk to ecosystems in the oil sands of Alberta and produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

The oil sands of the Canadian province of Alberta are operated by several oil majors, including Suncor, Imperial Oil, Total, Shell and Syncrude.

President Barack Obama's administration said Wednesday that TransCanada could resubmit the Keystone XL project, but that officials had been unable to assess the current plan by a February 21 deadline put into law by Republicans in Congress.


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Greece reaffirms support for ITGI project
Athens, Greece (UPI) Jan 18, 2012
Greek officials have reaffirmed support of the Turkey-Greece-Italy natural gas pipeline, calling it the most mature of three competing plans to cross the country. A statement released Friday by the Greek ministries of foreign affairs and energy voiced strong support for Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy, which, if fully realized, would transport up to 11 billion cubic meters of mostly ... read more

Maryland Smart Growth Weakness Frustrates Stakeholders

Japan's quake-hit TEPCO to put up business bills

Tough economy curbs clean energy investment: experts

China urges global energy cooperation

Israelis, Arabs tied to Sudan oil conflict

Bulgarian parliament bans shale gas exploration

2 Million Jobs On Offer If Americans Thinks Big on Energy Efficiency

Global Smart Grid Market to Invest $2 Trillion by 2030, peaking at $155bn in 2018

Power generation is blowing in the wind

Spain's Gamesa wins Chinese wind turbine contract

Mortenson Starts Construction of Rim Rock Wind Project

SA Opposition wind policy threatens $3 billion investment

New Solar-Energy System Generating Power at W and L

Abound Solar and Solarsis Announce Commissioning of Solar Plant in India

Solar Industry Remains In Crisis As Government Battles For Right To Appeal

A Shade Greener Aim to Supply 35,000 Families with Free Solar by 2015

Japan reactor lifespan up to 60 years: government

Sweden must improve nuclear plant safety: report

Romania to sell 10% stake in two energy firms

Japan probes radioactive apartment block

From field to biorefinery: Computer model optimizes biofuel operations

Breeding better grasses for food and fuel

US Woody Biomass Prices Have Dropped the Past Three Years

U.S. backs plan to produce algae crude oil

China Plans to Launch 30 Satellites in 2012

China launches Ziyuan III satellite

Spying on Tiangong

China's space ambitions ally glory with pragmatism

Slow response to East Africa famine cost lives: agencies

Managing private and public adaptation to climate change

Researchers discover particle which could cool the planet

Cut back on soot, methane to slow warming: study


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement