Despite report, final Keystone decision not near
February 2nd, 2014
10:29 AM ET
6 months ago

Despite report, final Keystone decision not near

Washington (CNN) – A final decision on whether or not to approve the hotly debated Keystone XL oil pipeline isn’t imminent, the White House chief of staff said on Sunday, despite a State Department report last week showing the project wouldn’t have a major impact on carbon emissions.

That report encouraged supporters of the project, which environmentalists warn could lead to more oil spills. Obama has said that he’ll only approve the pipeline if it doesn’t intensify carbon pollution.


Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, appearing on Sunday talk shows, said other federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy still needed to weigh in on Keystone. The State Department report also must undergo a 90-day review and public comment period.

“He’s been very clear that he’s going to insulate this process from politics,” McDonough said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“We have one department with a study. Now we have other expert agencies … that have the opportunity to make their determinations. The President wants to protect their ability to do that and make this decision based on the best analysis and the most sound science,” McDonough continued.

The question of approving the Keystone pipeline has loomed for years, prompting supporters of the project to accuse the Obama administration of stalling. After the State Department review was published Friday, Republicans urged Obama to use his executive power – a tool he’s brandishing on the economy and education – to OK the project.

"This is a no-brainer," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“This decision should have been made a long time ago,” he told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Many of Obama's most ardent Democratic supporters have vocally opposed the Keystone pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas. Environmentalists argue the chances for environmental disaster are higher since the oil extracted from tar sands is dirtier than other forms of petroleum.

But supporters, including organized labor and the government of Canada, say the project would create jobs and promote energy independence.


Filed under: Energy • President Obama
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    The Keystone project will net the Koch brothers billions of dollars, so forget the environmental impact. At any rate, it does give easier access for foreign nations to get the oil.

    February 2, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Jindal and 'no brainer' pretty much sums up Bobby.

    February 2, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    It's almost 11am, and there is no outrage from McCain that we are not starting another war? Where is he?

    February 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Kinard

    Be honest with the people. It's a done deal and the big money won out again. Just wait and see, there'll be a revelation to this effect in the near future, and no one will ever stop it from happening. Big Money. It means more than blood.

    February 2, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. don in albuquerque

    From Gubner of a state that produces sea food that you pretty much eat at your own peril. All thanks to their sell out too any oil company that darkens their door. Any wonder he would support the pipe line?

    February 2, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    We don't want this toxic slough traveling across our country that only benifits the oil companies and their payed off GOP stooges and is no benifit for the American people!!!!!!

    February 2, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. rs

    Let's see- the Keystone project makes only a handful of permanent jobs; it will force landowners to make a home for the pipeline on their land; itwill carry very abrasive and some of the dirtiest oil across the American heartland- and will certainly leak; the oils is bound for China, so the U.S. gets all the pollution from refining, and it does not benefit the consumer.

    So, why does the GOP want it so bad?

    The Kochs will make around $100 billion.

    Oh, never mind!

    February 2, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Thomas

    Great ,a pipeline to that costs to much for the few years it will be running .

    Why not an electric high speed rail system bringing the country together from coast to coast , border to border ?

    February 2, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Oh come on now... This will provide jobs!

    (Probably more clean-up jobs than construction jobs, but...)

    February 2, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Yo! Landa – I didn't win the power ball lottery, so I am still a democrat. I hope you won, but if you didn't, you are always welcome to leave the dark side of the political spectrum and join us democrats.

    February 2, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Didn't some pipeline just explode in Canada?
    First rafaelito, then bieber, then ford and now the pipeline?
    The Canadians are fighting. Sick after all these years of being the little brother to the US.

    February 2, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Marie MD – You are right. I always thought Canada was an ally, but based on your observations, I am glad they are not our enemy.

    February 2, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. Ron L.

    The Keystone pipeline should not be completed simply because the oil produces 15% more carbon than regular oil!! This is a step backwards, plain and simple. This would be similar to telling the automobile manufacturers it is OK to return to 15 miles per gallon cars. Or even worst, is the irrational answer often used by people that the reason America should not reducing its carbon emission because China isn't!?!?!? This is just DUMB!!! Sooner or later (probably after 500,000 Chinese citizens suffer severe respiratory disease.) the Chinese government will wake up to the fact it is killing it citizens and its medical costs are unsustainable. The EARTH is a closed system and either we work together to save it or we will all die from destroying it!! Anyone saying otherwise is ignoring science. The SMART thing is to NOT complete the Keystone pipeline!!! We NEED TO continue focusing on improving the gas mileage of cars, closing old dirty coal burning plants, replacing them with cleaner burning versions, increase the expansions of wind farms, solar panels, and UP GRADE our electrical infrastructure. THIS IS THE FUTURE with 7,000,000,000 people on the planet and growing we need to control and reduce where possible our waste and carbon released into the atmosphere.

    February 2, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the Repub/tea bag majority

    @Tampa Tim: "It's almost 11am, and there is no outrage from McCain that we are not starting another war? Where is he?"

    I live on the West Coast – and I appreciate waking up to your witty and insightful posts! Keep 'em coming! :)

    February 2, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |