Obama to make Keystone decision in next couple months
February 24th, 2014
02:15 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama to make Keystone decision in next couple months

Updated 3:33 p.m. ET, 2/24/2014

(CNN) – President Barack Obama will decide whether to go forward with the Keystone XL pipeline in the next couple months, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said on Monday.

"I did ask the President when we could anticipate a decision on the Keystone pipeline. I asked him if he could use his executive order power to do that, but finally he did come back and say that he anticipates an answer one way or the other in a couple of months," Fallin told reporters at a news conference after a meeting between governors and the President at the White House.

The proposed TransCanada pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast would run through Oklahoma.

Fallin, a Republican, supports approval and indicated that’s why she brought the issue up at the meeting.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, said Obama told the governors that "some people will be happy, some people will be sad" on the Keystone decision, but didn't tip his hand either way.

The Obama administration's pending decision on Keystone comes after a State Department environmental report indicated that the project won't have a big impact on carbon emissions that cause climate change.

White House spokesman Jay Carney would not comment on the President's timeline for making a decision, referring questions to the State Department.

"I don't have any insight into that decision or its effect," Carney told reporters when asked about Fallin's comments.

Many Republicans and pipeline supporters said the report, released last month, means Obama should approve Keystone while environmentalists decried the findings.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also said he also asked Obama about the pipeline at the White House meeting but was skeptical that he would take action on the issue.

"In the State of the Union, the President talked about using his pen and also he said in subsequent speeches he talked about using his phone to take executive actions and to bypass Congress," he told reporters after the meeting.

"And certainly I made a few suggestions today, and I've got additional suggestions on how he could do that if he were serious about growing the economy. The Keystone pipeline is certainly one."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was more confident Obama would approve the pipeline.

"Just write it down. He's going to approve it," Perry said at a news conference with Republican governors. "There is no defending not opening the XL pipeline. …The President is going to do this. I don't know why he's going to wait two or three months."

Supporters say the Keystone project would help further reduce U.S. dependence on Mideast oil, and create jobs. Environmentalists contend it could lead to more spills.

The project also faces legal challenges.

Governors were in Washington over the weekend for the National Governors Association winter meeting.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Mary Fallin • Neil Abercrombie • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. rs

    Just say No! Canada can move their dirtiest of oil via their own Canadian pipelines or by truck or train. This oil won't do a thing for the U.S. but dirty our air and pollute our ground. Besides the Kochs have plenty of money, they don't need another $100 billion. Leave the property owners alone- keep the pipeline and its permanent 53 jobs out.

    February 24, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. much thunder...little rain

    gutless....study on the enviroment is in ...jobs are waiting....but obama needs to ck with his donors...what a pathedic mess were in ...

    February 24, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    I'm with rs again Mr.President. Just say NO!!

    February 24, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    There will be no explosion of jobs from Keystone, especially once the pipeline is built. Pipeline are so highly automated that a relatively small number of people will be needed to monitor and maintain the line. The refineries may see a need for a large number of new people, but, once again, same issue of a highly automated industry not needing a lot of people comes into play. With the US re-emerging as the largest exporter of petroleum products during a time whenwe have fewer people working than ever, it begs the question of how many jobs will actually be produced here? If the ultimate result is more than a thousand full-time jobs once the pipline is completed, I will be surprised. How do i know this? I deal with the oil and gas business every day, selling them maintenance and calibration equipment.

    February 24, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Say NO !

    We need to lead with sustainable energy !

    =========

    @much thunder...little rain
    gutless....study on the enviroment is in ...jobs are waiting....but obama needs to ck with his donors...what a pathedic mess were in ...

    ===

    The would is not FLAT , and Climate change is real !

    At some point the only jobs left will be those cleaning up the mess the Earth is Flat people created .

    February 24, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. countingdown

    What's the hurry its only jobs? You been sitting on this for a while now. Have the nerve to say yes or no!

    February 24, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  7. salty dog

    Pathetic is trying to convince people Canada selling oil to China reduces our dependency, how is that. This is driven by the Koch brothers money, pure and simple. We take all the risks, Koch brothers get all the money, perfect. Big oil has successfully lobbied to limit its liability in spills, and they don't give a a rats azz how badly it damages our watershed, this is very bad idea. Safety is not job one, I don't care what Joe Parker says, look at their record, does safety seem like job one? Money is job one, the less spent on safety the more goes into their pockets. Horrible for us to allow this, what's in it for us, nothing, that's why their lying about reducing our energy dependence, they can't explain how it does, because it doesn't. They said by doing Canada a favor, it may benefit us down the road, really, i sincerely doubt that.

    February 24, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. salty dog

    And the Koch brothers will be sure to use the money to further corrupt our system. Very bad idea, we take the risk, they reap the reward, same old gop BS

    February 24, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    It's not just Canadian oil. They're pumping oil out of the Dakotas like there's no tomorrow. Couldn't that oil use the same pipeline? Or would it be better to transport it by rail, risking train derailments? Whatever... I said a couple years ago Obama would fold like a cheap suit on this... and he will.

    February 24, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. just asking

    it has only taken them 5 years to not decide. what's another few months or years? it isn't like people need jobs in this country.

    there is now no reason to not approve this pipeline. but the democrat party is held hostage to the extremist views of the environmental zealots. and that means the country, the jobs and the project are also held hostage.

    then again, he could always do his usual, i vote present and let the next president make the decision. oabma, the mia president.

    February 24, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. countingdown

    The Real Tom Paine

    Who makes the equipment you sell? What about the people who build the equipment that would be installed? Do their jobs not mean anything? What about your own job? We have such few jobs available now that the 1000 long term jobs (low estimate) should be a welcomed number! Ever heard the term trickle down. It works!

    February 24, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "There will be no explosion of jobs from Keystone,"

    In fact, it will kill a ton of jobs in the trucking and shipping industry, which has had to grow and expand in order to meet demand for and transport the growing domestic oil supply and production under Obama.

    February 24, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    It's not just Canadian oil. They're pumping oil out of the Dakotas like there's no tomorrow. Couldn't that oil use the same pipeline? Or would it be better to transport it by rail, risking train derailments? Whatever... I said a couple years ago Obama would fold like a cheap suit on this... and he will.
    ************************************
    They already have existing pipeline for that , Fair, and the real money in the Dakotas lies more in wind power than in oil. Once again, no appreciable gain in jobs because Keystone gets built. These pipelines are so highly automated that maintaining them will be relatively non-labor intensive, anyway, and the jobs they keep screaming about in the refineries have not come back in large numbers even with record energy exports. The technology has rendered most of the old jobs obsolete.

    February 24, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Supporters say the Keystone project would help further reduce U.S. dependence on Mideast oil, and create jobs. Environmentalists contend it could lead to more spills.
    -------------------------------
    If the pipeline will reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, then why is the pipeline going to new ports in Texas that have been built to accommodate the latest and biggest supertankers. These supertankers are too big to fit through the Panama Canal. This oil is heading for Europe where it can be sold at a higher price than it could in the U.S. because of added transportation costs.

    Rick Perry once claimed during a debate that the pipeline would create a million NEW jobs. Experts estimate the number to be well under 1000 new, permanent jobs, and probably less than one hundred new jobs.

    February 24, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. salty dog

    Fair, different kind of oil I believe, the oil from Canada is not ours, we only get the risks involved, Koch brothers get the money, one report said 35 permanent jobs.

    February 24, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    salty dog

    Pathetic is trying to convince people Canada selling oil to China reduces our dependency, how is that. This is driven by the Koch brothers money, pure and simple.
    -----------------------
    Actually, most of the product will wind up in Europe. They currently have to absorb the time and cost of transporting the oil from the Pacific cost, around the tip of South America, and then on to Europe. They take that route because the new generation of supertankers do not fit through the Panama Canal. Even if they did, the Canal charges fees based upon how much is passed through the waterway.

    February 24, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. What could go wrong?

    countingdown
    The Real Tom Paine
    Who makes the equipment you sell? What about the people who build the equipment that would be installed? Do their jobs not mean anything? What about your own job? We have such few jobs available now that the 1000 long term jobs (low estimate) should be a welcomed number! Ever heard the term trickle down. It works!
    --

    Or course it works. But the leftists believe more in the take and spread model. It works out for their political supporters. No work is involved, just governmental theft.

    February 24, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    countingdown

    The Real Tom Paine

    Who makes the equipment you sell? What about the people who build the equipment that would be installed? Do their jobs not mean anything? What about your own job? We have such few jobs available now that the 1000 long term jobs (low estimate) should be a welcomed number! Ever heard the term trickle down. It works!
    **********************
    All of my vendors are experiencing record profits because of the existing boom, as is my company and myself. Its also apparent that, because of the more automated nature of the instruments we sell, they need fewer and fewer people to do the job. The work is not as lobor intensive and requires people with less training in order to perform it. Maintenance is becoming a bigger priority because the instruments last longer, but even there the actual manpower is shrinking. Its not a trickle-down effect, its the effect of technology doing more for a cheaper cost. Maybe if you actually knew something about the industry, you would know that.

    February 24, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. countingdown

    salty dog
    Pathetic is trying to convince people Canada selling oil to China reduces our dependency, how is that. This is driven by the Koch brothers money, pure and simple. We take all the risks, Koch brothers get all the money, perfect. Big oil has successfully lobbied to limit its liability in spills, and they don't give a a rats azz how badly it damages our watershed, this is very bad idea. Safety is not job one, I don't care what Joe Parker says, look at their record, does safety seem like job one? Money is job one, the less spent on safety the more goes into their pockets. Horrible for us to allow this, what's in it for us, nothing, that's why their lying about reducing our energy dependence, they can't explain how it does, because it doesn't. They said by doing Canada a favor, it may benefit us down the road, really, i sincerely doubt that.

    And the Koch brothers will be sure to use the money to further corrupt our system. Very bad idea, we take the risk, they reap the reward, same old gop BS

    OK! Prove it!

    February 24, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Of course CNN forgets any mention of the court ruling that just struck down the Nebraska Governor's approval of the Keystone Pipeline's route because it essentially tried to give eminent domain powers to Trans-Canada. Yes, that's right...they want it so bad, they're willing to try to unlawfully give a foreign corporation the power to take citizens' land. But no, CNN and the MSM have to try to stoke the nontroversy by carefully trimming the narrative to exclude things like that, which show delays are being caused by over-eager abuses of power from Republicans, not just by Obama and the executive agencies being cautious in approving something that could cause major disasters if not done carefully.

    February 24, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    Sniffit

    "There will be no explosion of jobs from Keystone,"

    In fact, it will kill a ton of jobs in the trucking and shipping industry, which has had to grow and expand in order to meet demand for and transport the growing domestic oil supply and production under Obama.
    ------–
    Seems like a pipeline would be safer and more eco-friendly...

    February 24, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Who makes the equipment you sell? What about the people who build the equipment that would be installed? Do their jobs not mean anything? What about your own job? We have such few jobs available now that the 1000 long term jobs (low estimate) should be a welcomed number! Ever heard the term trickle down. It works!
    ------------------------
    As pointexd out above, how many truckers and railroad workers will be put out of work because of the pipeline. I have little doubt that it will be more than 1000. Most experts estimate the pipeline will create less than one hundred jobs, while killing hundreds more.

    BTW, trickle doesn't work. If it did, Reagan wouldn't have ran up the debt, nor caused two self=inflicted recessions. Even his own VP had once called it "voodoo economics". Furthermore, trickle down is not an economic theory. It's nothing more than a catch phrase invented by someone on Reagan's campaign staff.

    February 24, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    If the pipeline will reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil, then why is the pipeline going to new ports in Texas that have been built to accommodate the latest and biggest supertankers. These supertankers are too big to fit through the Panama Canal. This oil is heading for Europe where it can be sold at a higher price than it could in the U.S. because of added transportation costs.
    -------
    The oil is going to Texas because that's where the refineries are.

    February 24, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. countingdown

    Sniffit "There will be no explosion of jobs from Keystone,"

    In fact, it will kill a ton of jobs in the trucking and shipping industry, which has had to grow and expand in order to meet demand for and transport the growing domestic oil supply and production under Obama.

    How many trucking / shipping jobs will be gained from the refining industry?

    February 24, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    And BTW, Judge Stephanie Stacy was appointed by Governor Hieneman himself, so no, Teatrolls don't get to rant about "liberal activist judges" on this one. The Gov and the state legislature screwed the pooch trying to force it all through on their own unlawful terms and it will now cause more delays rather than speeding up the process as they intended.

    February 24, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
1 2 3