Obama: No on Oil Pipeline, More Review Needed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama says he's denying an application for a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline because a GOP-mandated deadline didn't allow time for a full review.

Obama says his decision isn't a judgment on the merits of the proposed $7 billion pipeline. Rather, he's citing the "arbitrary nature" of the Feb. 21 deadline that was set by a GOP-written provision in a recent tax bill that Obama signed.

The president says in a statement that he's disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced the decision. Obama had until late next month to decide whether the pipeline was in the national interest.

Administration officials says the looming deadline cut short the time needed to conduct environmental reviews after the State Department ordered the project developer to find an alternate route to avoid environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska.

The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada to refineries in Texas. It would pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

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TORONTO -- Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper says he told Barack Obama he was profoundly disappointed after the U.S. president called to tell him the administration rejected a plan to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Andrew MacDougall, a spokesman for Harper, said Wednesday that Obama explained the decision was not on the merits of the Keystone XL pipeline, but rather on the "arbitrary nature" of the Feb. 21 deadline set by a Republicans as part of tax measure he signed.

Obama said the decision was without prejudice, meaning that TransCanada is free to reapply.

MacDougall says Harper told Obama that he hoped the pipeline would ultimately be approved given the jobs it would create both in Canada and the U.S.

Statement on the House floor by Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX District 17):


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