White House to announce opposition to Keystone pipeline project
January 18th, 2012
12:08 PM ET
11 years ago

White House to announce opposition to Keystone pipeline project

Washington (CNN) - The Obama administration will likely announce its opposition to the controversial Keystone pipeline project as early as today, according to a Democratic source briefed on the matter.

Though House Speaker John Boehner's office has not yet been informed of the White House decision, the Speaker said today, "This is not good for our country. The president wants to put this off until it's convenient for him to make a decision. That means after the next election. The fact is the American people are asking the question right now, "Where are the jobs?"

The proposed Keystone pipeline has been caught up in the Washington political discourse since Republicans inserted a clause in the payroll tax cut negotiations last fall trying to force a decision on the project within a limited time frame. The White House had tried to push the decision until 2013 after the coming presidential election.

The pipeline would run from northern Alberta in Canada down to Texas's Gulf Coast. Republicans and some unions want to push approval through for the project in favor of the job creation prospects. The administration points to environmental reviews still underway and opponents express concerns about the nation's oil dependency being further embraced in regards to not rushing a decision.

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soundoff (317 Responses)
  1. Rick

    I think you people in America should learn about the Canadian Oil before bashing it. I am tired of people with wrong information that you have gotten from the press instead of doing research yourself. This is the worst thing Obama can do. Keep the oil coming from the middle east, eventually you won't have access to it if you keep invading their countries.

    January 18, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. OGR99

    Guys, guys, guys. Don't worry.

    We can always buy our oil from Brazil.

    January 18, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. Bryan

    Thank you Obama! You know, given the fact that Canada is still one of the world's largest asbestos exporters (next to Russia) I don't think they really have anyone's health interests in mind. So pumping all of their crude through the heart of our farmland sounds like it benefits them, while we take all the risks. People scream for jobs... but at what cost? At the cost of our lives and our children? It is repulsive. You know what? There are lots of jobs out there that have nothing to do with the oil industry. All you need is an education that goes beyond high school. It would solve two problems, lack of a job and failure to understand why this is such a horrible idea.

    January 18, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Jim

    I just cannot believe the mentality here. Most Americans are totally unaware that Canada is already the biggest oil supplier to the U.S. There is more oil in the Alberta oil sands for future development than ther is in the entire world, including Saudi Arabia. many times over. Think more than 2 years down the line. As conventional oil supplies run out, and demand increases, WHERE WILL THE OIL COME FROM??!! You can have wars in the middle east and South America over dwindling supplies, or you can buy it from your best friend and biggest trading partner on earth, Canada. This is an opportunity for Canda and the US to secure a position as the major world econominc powerhouse for generations to come. Turn this down now, and the Canadiians will sell it to Asia, they are already planning a pipline to the west coast so Asian tankers can load the crude product,.
    And why would this pipeline be any more environmentally dangerous than any of the dozens that already exist?

    January 18, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. ScottH

    Sorry American Left, but you cannot cry "We are sick of foreign oil!" all the time while also having a not-in-our-backyard policy when it comes to getting our own oil. Get a grip.

    January 18, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Jerry

    I was led to believe this president was interested and sincere in creating jobs and improving the US economy. Oh well, I have been mislead (lied to) by the current president, AGAIN!!!

    Now, can anyone out there tell me, with a straight face, that our current president DOES NOT lie!? We all know he's not supporting the pipeline ONLY because he knows he can not take full credit for it. What demagoguery!!!

    January 18, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Homer

    Yep, put the decision off! Yet another prime example of this sock puppet's inability, or unwillingness, to lead. Let's continue to be dependent on oil from unfriendly countries who have no problem holding us hostage. Yep, and let's make sure that their workers are employed, not ours. Does this guy read anything besides Golf Digest? The Canadians have made it very clear that if we don't want the pipeline they will build one themselves to British Columbia so they can sell the oil to China. Wouldn't THAT be just great!

    January 18, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. MN Mom

    I am SO HAPPY that President Obama has remained firm on this issue! Get informed people - #1 The GOPs job creation estimate is grossly inflated. The pipeline will create between 2,000-3,000 TEMPORARY jobs, #2 The oil is not ours and will simply be put out on the international market - having or not having the pipeline will not change gas prices, #3 The environmental risk is way too great when the benefits of having the pipeline are small, and #4 Why are we investing huge sums of money in oil when we need to be investing in future sources of energy? Our grandchildren will NOT be thanking us for continuing to ignore the fact that oil will run out. They will be saying, "THAT was hardly a "greatest generation"! Why couldn't they have looked to the future instead of refusing to change?!?" I am very happy that President Obama is refusing to give in to the GOP who only want this pipeline because it will make the already wealthy oil industry that pays for the GOP's campaigns happy. It is not good for any of the rest of us. OBAMA 2012!!

    January 18, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. just checking

    Great decision, the pipeline purpose is to get oil to the gulf.. It is not our oil, it is to be transported to other countries....Why should we ruin our water source, and land, plus it doesn't provide jobs, very few....just do your homework and find out the real truth, don't believe Big Oil, they couldn't care less about the people and the destruction they leave behind..........

    January 18, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. sonofgadfly

    There will never be enough jobs for all the worker drones in this cancer called the human race. The more jobs are created, the more babies pop out. Just since I was a child, America has added over 50% to its population, and the world has added around 70%, and yet we wonder why there aren't enough jobs (and food) to go around. We seem bent on continuing down this path until we all choke on our own excrement, and a president who has the audacity to pause and consider the environmental impact of an ALLEGED job creator is considered a traitor. I don't put much stock in Mayan calendars, but I will be very impressed if we make it through 2012.

    January 18, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Notaichboy

    So many negative comments against Obama on here I had to double check and make sure I wasn't on the Fox News website..LOL

    January 18, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. tstorm

    Thank you, Mr. Presdient for opposing this needless pipeline which would create few jobs at a terrible cost to the huge underground aquifer in Nebraska and the plains states. Thank you for standing up to the greedy Republicans. You've got my vote in 2012!

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. John N Florida

    Largely because of complaints from Nebraska, the State Department agreed Thursday to look for new routes that would steer clear of the state's Sandhills region and the aquifer, which flows beneath eight states and provides irrigation to huge farming areas. That effort will delay a final decision until early 2013.
    The Nebraska Governor is a Republican. The Nebraska legislature is controlled by Republicans. REPUBLICANS in Nebraska have DEMANDED these routing changes. They even passed a bill, signed by the Governor REQUIRING it.

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. dreamer96

    It's a Canadian Company which is really owned by the Chinese Government to bring oil to the Gulf to sell to the Chinese...If there is a spill it's on some of our most fertile land over the most important fresh water reserve we have for farmers...Only people that will really make the big money don't even pay taxes...

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |

    What't the next thing Obama going to say that he save million of jobs by not going with the keystone pipeline or that he created thousand of new jobs this way....uhhmmmm stop the presses Obama did again he saved us the next title on Newsweek...lies...lies..lies..lies..libs.libs.libs...

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Stupid decision.

    a) This oil is going somewhere, whether it be in a pipe across America, where any leak is localized and easily contained, or across Canada to be loaded onto tankers bound for Asia, where any spill suddenly affects the BC, Washington and/or Alaskan coastline. Any spill that happens on land will have nowhere near the effect that it will in the oceans.

    b) Building a refinery in the middle of Canada, no. From refineries, products are trucked or piped further along. The middle of Canada is a LONG way from most places in America, shipping 10,000 gallon tanker trucks that far is not a very practical idea. If one pipeline containing oil is frowned upon, how will the dozens needed to carry various products to different destinations be viewed upon? Existing refineries already have the infrastructure built to handle the refined products.

    c) Yes, construction jobs are temporary. Guess what? Having worked as a contractor, I know that if you don't have projects, people are laid off and told to wait until there is work. Maybe the people working on this project will have just come off another project, but still, that prevents them from getting laid off. Yes, no new construction companies will likely be formed, but people will be brought off of unemployment and put to work. I'd rather give someone a year or two of decent work than simply say "the job is temporary, its not worth creating"

    d) Yes, green energy needs to be looked at. However, tiny Iceland, the size of Kentucky with all of 300,000 people, has estimated the time they will be completely fossil fuel free to be around 2050, and they are already far ahead of America. The third largest county in the world, both by size and population, isn't going to be fossil fuel free anytime soon, using the excuse that this pipeline will set back the green revolution is stupid.

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. tim

    I work in Northern Alberta and have watched this political ping pong go back and forth. This is just one decision in a long line of bad decisions that the US has made over the last few years.....stimulus, green energy, housing, bailouts, from my perspective the US has lost its way – Leadership is required quickly.

    January 18, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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