Grab up those shares in Chinese shipping companies, kids! The Canadian tar sands oil is officially headed overseas, as the President has officially rejected the Keystone XL pipeline proposal.
President Obama announced Friday that he has rejected Canadian energy giant TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the pipeline was not in the U.S. national interest.
“The State Department has decided the Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the interests of the United States. I agree with that decision,” Obama said at a White House press conference.
The announcement caps a 7-year saga that has become one of the biggest environmental flashpoints of Obama’s presidency. It comes just days after the State Department refused to agree to TransCanada’s request to suspend the review process on the controversial project, which has seen enormous opposition from environmental groups.
The State Department seems to have been careful to avoid any serious discussion of whether the Keystone XL pipeline itself would be the environmental hazard that green groups had been fainting over (though he did bring up his “leadership” on climate change and waxed poetic about “keeping some fossil fuels in the ground”), since its own environmental impact study discovered that the pipeline would have literally no negative environmental ramifications, and went with the “national interest” argument instead. Never mind that the project would have employed thousands of union workers in a number of mid-American states, and that the project would have given America more energy independence from questionable “allies” like Saudi Arabia, it simply wasn’t an American ideal.
The message is clear: the Administration couldn’t figure out a way to approve the pipeline without angering progressives, and it couldn’t find a way to refuse the pipeline without alienating those unions which have become primary sources of income for the Democratic Party. As the environmentalists are probably more likely to camp out on the White House lawn and throw public temper tantrums, they erred on the side of angering the unions, who have already expressed their willingness to break ties with moderate Democrats by throwing their weight behind the Sanders campaign rather than the Clinton one. Environmentalists will be angered anyway, of course, since mining for the tar sands oil, which is the real environmental concern, won’t stop — it will simply have a different buyer.
But at least Hillary Clinton won’t have to talk about it on the trail, I suppose.
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