After months of uncertainty, the Obama administration has rejected the application by a Canadian company, to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. A big mistake, says Wisconsin congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. “What it will do is force Canada to build a pipeline to its Pacific coast so that oil would be exported to China and Japan, who are our competitors,” says the Menomonee Falls Republican, “I would hope that Congress would override the decision of the administration, if we can figure out a way to do that and prevent Obama from vetoing it.”
President Obama on Thursday announced the rejection of the construction application, citing the State Department’s characterization of “the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans.” Obama says that prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact on health and safety and the environment.
Sensenbrenner says the decision will have a negative impact on U.S.-Canadian relations. “I don’t believe in the situation that we’re in today, both economically and foreign policy wise, that we ought to really hurt our friends and benefit our enemies. All this will do is force America to import more oil from the OPEC nations. None of the OPEC nations like us or share our values.”
TransCanada Corporation, the firm which had applied for the permit to build the pipeline, says it remains fully committed to the project.”We will re-apply for a Presidential Permit and expect a new application would be processed in an expedited manner to allow for an in-service date of late 2014,” said a statement.