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Obama Denies Keystone XL Permit but Allows TransCanada to Apply for a Different Pipeline Route
The Obama administration will not grant a permit to TransCanada to go through with the Keystone XL pipeline.While this is good news for activists fighting against the construction of the pipeline, it is not a cancellation of the project and TransCanada will be allowed to reapply with a new route following suggestions by the administration. The new route would be directed through Nebraska. The announcement came shortly after a 60 day deadline for a decision was set by the Republican controlled Congress.
Criticizing the deadline, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday, "It's a fallacy to suggest that the president should sign into law something when there isn't even an alternate route identified in Nebraska and when the review process is" unfinished, and "There was an attempt to short-circuit the review process in a way that does not allow the kind of careful consideration of all the competing criteria here that needs to be done."
Proponents of the Kesystone XL pipeline argue that independence from foreign oil is an essential US interest, and that the jobs created as well as other benefits from working together with Canada economically supercedes environmental concerns.
Environmental activists and grassroots efforts have put up a tremendous effort against the Keystone XL proposal, even going as far as surrounding the White House in protest, are pushing to get the project cancelled outright, and the opening for a consideration of an alternate route will not be well-received. They argue that tar sand oil extraction and refinement is tremendously destructive to the surrounding environment.