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. Buzz

    Its all talk. I'll believe it when I see it. Even though he ran on a platform of breaking our oil addiction in ten years, he doesn't have the nads to stand up to these uber-rich oil barons. He's caved on everything else he stood for....this one will be next. They've got us over a barrel......of oil!

    January 18, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. upsetcanada

    You guys should get your own Oil. Leave Canadian oil in Canada so our prices go down!!!

    January 18, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. jake

    Your eco policies make no sense and continue to weaken our economy. When the economy collapses under the weight of bad government policies and the FED’s devaluation of the USD the country will be in chaos and nobody will have time to care about the environment…they will be too worried about survival. Our standard of living is tied to the strength of our economy, a fact many of you just don’t seem to understand. The day of reckoning will be here sooner than you think and the environment will be collateral damage to an economic collapse.

    January 18, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. jparker77

    Boehner wants to talk about jobs? thats a good question. Where are the jobs Mr.speaker the ones your tea-party congress promised in 2010? where Mr.speaker? The Americans jobs act would create a million jobs if the do nothing congress worked for the American people & not Grover Norquist.

    January 18, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. Mike

    Why do you American even WANT this dirty Canadian oil? The dirtiest oil that exists and you guys want to buy it? Why? Put your money into your own resources.

    January 18, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Daniel

    Environmental reviews are still underway but they want to force the President to make the call... without good information... rush rush rush... wait... why does that sound familiar? Oh I remember now... BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico... vendors wanted completed engineering studies... BP pushed them to commit to a design they reviewed and FAILED those reviews, but ramrodded the build anyway. So.... we wish to repeat this mistake, but this time directly overhead of the drinking water for millions of US Citizens. Take your time Mr. President.

    January 18, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Scott

    Obama's in a pickle in this one. Stuck between Labor and Environmentalists. Tons of posts stating that the President does nothing about oil, but he was for off-shore drilling until that turned out to literally be a complete disaster.

    January 18, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. olepi

    Well, it was dumb to try to rush the decision. The pipeline is being re-routed, and the new paperwork won't be done until late this year. Forcing a decision NOW means it has to be no.

    Of course, the pipeline is a bad deal for America: the oil is not destined for domestic markets, prices won't fall. The existing sections of the Keystone pipeline leaked TEN times just last year. And, since the oil companies pay little or no income taxes, there is no revenue there.

    No, trading a few thousand temp jobs for decades of pollution is a bad deal for America. No thanks.

    January 18, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. strangerq

    What a great idea to run thousands of mile of oil pipeline through the center of our country over aquifers that supply water to 8 states and many farming communities.

    ^ All to help a largely landlocked foreign country export their oil to the sea.

    This projects name was changed from TransCanada to Keystone for the exact purpose of hiding it's foreignness. I warn everyone to find out the truth about Alberta tar sands catastrophe and don't get played by the GOP.

    January 18, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Sirned

    Obama is putting the good of Americans who will be affected by this pipeline over the profit of a few. This is a Canadian company that will use Canadian full time skilled workers. Very few jobs will be created long term for Americans. The oil is for export and will have no effect on prices here at home..Republicans should have let the normal assessment process go forward instead of demanding a 60 day yes or no on something so risky for thousands of Americans that understandably worried about their land values and water....

    January 18, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. ART

    Thank you President Obama for doing the right thing as usual,you definately have my vote in 2012

    January 18, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. volksmaniac

    Can anyone out there explain why one more pipeline is such a danger ? There are many pipelines running throughout the U.S. already . When did we have an ecological disaster involving a pipieline ? What about the studies that have already been completed on this pipeline ? It has been re-routed to avoid the aquifers in question .
    This is the president trying not to make his voter base angry , thus losing votes that he cannot afford to lose . Some say the jobs will be temporary . So what ? There are plenty of people out here who would be happy to have a good paying job even if it is temporary . It's better than no job at all .

    January 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Pass the American Jobs Act. Invest more time in creating clean energy sources... THAT will create more jobs, and less dependency on oil. I'll also note, Obama didn't get us into the Middle East in the first place... you can thank your beloved Bush for that one.

    January 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. kjfuller7

    I am truly saddened by the short-sighted stupidity reflected in every post deriding President Obama. I'm not a big fan of the man for many reasons, but JOBS has very little to do with this stupid pipeline. Why stretch a tube across the entire country instead of building a refinery near the Canadian border? if ANY politician wants something so much they can't stop promoting it, it's because they're making money somehow. SO instead of simply saying "if we don't build this pipeline, I won't make millions of dollars with my back door investments based on inside information" they say "we lose 2000 'potential' jobs if we don't pass this legislation"... which of course ticks people off. Additionally, OIL IS DEAD... it will run out. We should be spending 9.4 Billion on technologies of the future. Have you researched TESLA cars? They go 300 miles, prices will be coming down and they're building charging stations where you can swap out your battery for a full charge in less than a minute! And it's 100% AMERICAN. It's called SPIN and Washington is playing you folk like a fiddle. Instead of reacting with such hatred, why don't you LEARN something?

    January 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Brian

    And I will repeat was Nick said "This project is bad for the envionment and the jobs have been overestimated. It is nothing more than a pet project for big oil. For those conservatives who complain, PASS THE AMERICAN JOBS ACT! IT WILL CREATE MUCH MORE JOBS THAN THIS ECO-KILLING PIPELINE!"

    January 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. RobertOKUSA

    People who claim this will be "America's oil" are mistaken. Oil is traded on a *global* market.

    January 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Solar_Panel_Farmer

    Instead of completely opposing it, Obama needs to make a compromie.

    Let us build hundreds of miles of solar panel farms in our southwestern desert regions and we will give you the so called "job creating" pipeline.

    January 18, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Davethecanuck


    Perhaps some of you sheep should look up a map that shows the Ogallala aquifer along with existing pipelines...
    Then ask yourselves why am I being made to believe that this pipeline is SO terrible.
    Do some of you even realize how big the aquifier is? What hasn't been built over the aquifier?

    January 18, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Tiller In Texas

    This is a huge PR mistake for the Obama Administration.

    January 18, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. cmac

    If you ship it to Texas you already have the refineries to refine it. You also already have the pipline links to ship it out. Build the refinery up north then you have to build pipelineS out for the various product. Sure some of this oil will be refined and shipped out just like alot of our oil pumped in the United States is shipped out. The United States has always been an exporter of crude product because we have the refining capacity. Point is the oil is coming out of Canada, a stable and friendly neighbor. It will create jobs, some temporary some permanent. A pipeline doesn't maintain itself with all the compressor stations needed or the refineries that refine it. It will cut down on the amount of crude needed to be SHIPPED in which is alot more dangerous situation to deal with. Or we could all go to work in green jobs maybe at Solandra. Oh wait.....

    January 18, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. saywho

    Temp jobs at best. I know about pipeline construction. Short and sweet. Out of 170 miles planted in the dakotas only 6 permanent jobs remain to operate the pump stations.

    January 18, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. skytech5

    he just lost my vote

    January 18, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Florida Joe

    More nonsense from Speaker Boner......YOU SIR said that jobs were your number 1 priority after the election.....You have done nothing but attack womens rights and pass bills that do nothing more than try to decimate our Seniors.....This pipeline is only to provide more oil to your FAT CATS in Texas to process and sell off shore.....that's why you want the extension
    Thank God we have President Obama to protect our environment from you "ALL FOR THE RICH" bunch

    January 18, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. right

    For all you folks that don't want a pipeline, how about you stop using products made from crude oil. I mean everything. That way the price for the rest of us would come down and we wouldn't have so much need of foreign oil.

    January 18, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Eric

    Just plain STUPID politics......Campaign no. 1 Country no. 2

    January 18, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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