Obama rejects Keystone oil pipeline permit, ND & SD Governors respond


President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone oil pipeline project on Wednesday, causing conflicting reactions. Environmentalists praised him for his decision, while others blame him of jeopardizing U.S. energy security and denying the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Obama said his administration denied TransCanada’s application for the Canada-to-Texas oil sands pipeline because there was not enough time to complete the review process, which included searching for a new route around the aquifer in Nebraska.

His decision to reject the project was very much expected, but shares in TransCanada, the pipeline’s backer, still tumbled on the news.

Pushing for him to block the pipeline, environmentalists hinged their support in his reelection campaign on the outcome of his decision. They were a key voting bloc that helped him win the 2008 election.

Despite his decision, Obama did however express support for an oil pipeline between Cushing, Oklahoma and the Gulf of Mexico. TransCanada says it will re-apply for a permit for the Keystone and work to address concerns about the route.

Governors from the Dakotas shared their take on the matter after Obama announced his decision.

A statement from South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

“President Obama’s decision to deny a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline is disappointing on many levels, but most of all it is unfortunate for the thousands of welders and construction workers who would have been hired to build it.  We still need to strengthen our country’s energy security, we still have not recovered from one of the worst recessions in decades, and we still have too many people out of work. We still need this project.”

Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued the following statement:

“This is a very difficult decision to understand in light of the fact that it would be very beneficial to our energy independence and to our efforts to create jobs in America,” Dalrymple said. “Our western North Dakota oil producers need access to more pipeline capacity and this project would help them market their production.”

Source: Offices of Governor Daugaard & Governor Dalrymple