Obama kills permit for controversial Keystone XL Pipeline

Native youth in South Dakota take a stand against the Keystone XL Pipeline. Photo by Richie Richards / Native Sun News

President Barack Obama announced his rejection of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline on Friday.

Speaking from the White House, Obama said the Department of State concluded that the project was not in the country's best interests.

"I agree with that decision," Obama said with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at his side.

Obama acknowledged political controversy over the pipeline but dismissed arguments advanced by both sides of the battle. The pipeline was neither the "silver bullet" for jobs as touted by Republicans and the energy industry or the "climate disaster" as predicted by Democrats and environmental groups, the president said.

Indianz.Com SoundCloud: President Barack Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline November 6, 2015

Obama did not make direct reference to opposition from Indian Country. Tribes in the U.S. fought the pipeline due to concerns about treaty rights, sacred sites and the environment. The route in South Dakota, for example, runs through treaty-protected territories.

Secretary Kerry's determination, though, acknowledged potential impacts to "water supplies" and "cultural heritage sites" along the 1,179-mile route through eight states. A more detailed document has not yet been posted online.

The decision came just days after TransCanada asked Obama to suspend the federal review of the permit. The Canadian firm submitted the application in September 2008 and wanted more time to finalize the Nebraska portion of the route.

"TransCanada and its shippers remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project," President and CEO Russ Girling said in a press release. "We will review our options to potentially file a new application for border-crossing authority to ship our customer's crude oil, and will now analyze the stated rationale for the denial."

Get the Story:
Obama rejects Keystone XL project, citing climate concerns (The Washington Post 11/6)
Obama Rejects Construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline (The New York Times 11/6)

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