Based on the recommendation of the U.S. State Department, President Obama has decided to reject the Keystone XL pipeline permit. The pipeline would transport Canada's tar sands through six states to be refined in the south. Supporters say the project would create thousands of jobs and insure our energy security.
Wednesday afternoon, after the President's position was clear, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and a delegation of House Republicans provided a reply to the President's announced move. Boehner said this is not in the best interest of the United States. It's a broken promise to create jobs. Boehner pledged that this is not the end of the fight and they will continue to push.
It appears the Obama Administration wants to include in its final decision the final rout around the Sand Hills region of North-Central Nebraska. The state of Nebraska is working with pipeline owner TransCanada to find a suitable route around the Sand Hills, but Senator Mike Johanns, R-Neb., says the President apparently lacks faith in Nebraska's ability to select a route.
"By arguing that the Nebraska route could force them to deny the permit, he's implying Nebraska can't get it right," Johanns said. "To suggest a few dozen miles of the route in Nebraska affects the overall public interest for more than 1,600 miles of pipeline is laughable and reeks of political gamesmanship."
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., also voiced his disappointment. He says disapproval of this project will only increase the amount of money Americans pay at the gas pumps. He says it is discouraging that the President is turning down this opportunity to create economic prosperity and utilize our domestic energy resources.
Meanwhile, Representative Tim Griffin, R-Ark., talked of Welspun Pipes, the company that stood to provide a lot of pipe to the XL project. The Little Rock Company, an Indian company, had previously laid-off many because of the President's desire to delay a decision until after the elections. According to Griffin, the company has lots of premade pipe ready for shipment.
If, when all is said and done, there is no pipeline to carry tar sands from Canada through six western states to the south for refining, what will happen to all of that potential energy? China is ready to take those sands, refine them and sell the refined product to any customers, including the United States.
Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says Congress needs to act.
"Whether or not the U.S. approves the Keystone pipeline project, the oil will be produced, and if it doesn't come here, China likely will get it," Grassley said. "So, it's impossible to see how President Obama could deny that the Keystone pipeline project is in the national interest."The Keystone Pipeline, approved in 2010 by the Canadian National Energy Board, would transport 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day. Grassley says this would help to counteract both insufficient domestic oil supplies and reduce dependence on less reliable foreign sources.