The Obama administration has rejected the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday afternoon.
The project, which would move unrefined oil extracted from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, down to Texas, has been the subject of intense debate both in Congress and nationally since late last summer. Touted as a source of jobs and domestic energy by its proponents, opponents of the project say the environmental and climate impacts of the project would be a nightmare.
Bill McKibben, a leading figure in the fight against the pipeline, gave the following response to the environmental site 350.org early Wednesday, upon hearing preliminary reports that the Obama administration planned to nix the proposal.
“Assuming that what we're hearing is true, this isn't just the right call, it's the brave call. The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he's too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact 'huge political consequences,' he's stood up strong. This is a victory for Americans who testified in record numbers, and who demanded that science get the hearing usually reserved for big money.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., released a statement following the president's announcement.
“In my view, this tar sands pipeline is a bad deal for the country and for our planet, and the president has acted in the best interest of the American people in saying no to Keystone XL.”
Reuters reported that pipeline owner TransCanada Corp.’s stock dropped more than 3 percent after reports of the rejection surfaced.
The 1,700-mile pipeline has pitted environmentalists against the oil and gas industry, leaving the President torn between two constituencies crucial to his 2012 reelection.