But that doesn’t mean the end of the pipeline, or Canada’s tar sands.
The U.S. government has denied an application by TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline, the State Department announced Wednesday.
A statement released by the department said it doesn’t preclude TransCanada applying again with a different route.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said the government hopes a new TransCanada application will be approved, but Canada is going to look to other markets to sell its oil.
Coming as it does so soon after the pipeline plans were apparently shelved until after the 2012 election, this is good news. Why’d Obama reject the proposal? Mostly because of the huge rush Republicans put on the passage of the proposal.
Obama’s press release:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2012
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
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. 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. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.
And why the rush? Why, to try to hamstring environmental impact assessments obviously, since they know damn well the original Keystone pipeline has had environmentally devastating leaks, and the Keystone XL passes right through one of North America’s biggest and most important aquifers.
We have less than five years to get our shit together or we’re pretty much doomed. Maybe we should consider honouring all those calls to build nuclear and wind farms while pouring money into development of proper solar technology, like the environmentalists have been suggesting ever since we discovered that humans are responsible for the current anthropogenic global warming back in the 1970s.
Today, though, we’re still fighting with idiots about whether CO2 causes warming — something we’ve known definitively since 1896 and can prove in a home experiment with heat lamps and soda bottles. And how far along are we in switching over to nuclear and wind and tidal and geothermal and improving solar tech? Certainly not far enough.
Maybe we as a species don’t deserve to overcome this particular problem. Maybe we should let petty greed overcome our better angels of rationality and self-preservation. Hell of a way to go, though.