Keystone pipeline permit is denied by Obama administration

01-18-2012 // Kate Andersen Brower and Jim Snyder - The Washington Post

This excerpt is from The Washington Post

President Barack Obama denied a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline and will let the company file a revised route that avoids an environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska.

The decision by the State Department today was praised by environmentalists, who said the pipeline would add to U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions, and was decried by the U.S. oil and gas industry and Republican lawmakers, who had pushed President Barack Obama to approve the project as a way create jobs.

Obama acted before a Feb. 21 deadline Congress set after Obama in November postponed a decision while a revised Nebraska route is reviewed. TransCanada said the 1,661-mile (2,673- kilometer) project would carry 700,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta’s oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast, crossing six U.S. states and create 20,000 jobs.

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“The entire purpose of the pipeline is to move Canadian oil to the crude refineries in the Gulf so that it can be shipped overseas,” Jeremy Symons, a National Wildlife Federation vice president, said today in a phone interview. “If the pipeline is built, Canada gets the jobs, China gets the oil and American families get the oil spills.”

Protests in Nebraska and at the White House focused on the risks of a spill tainting the Ogallala aquifer in the state’s Sand Hills region. TransCanada has discussed alternate routes with state officials that would pose less risk to drinking-water supplies.

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