Home Energy and Environment Virginians React to Keystone XL Decision

Virginians React to Keystone XL Decision

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There’s a ton of reaction this afternoon pouring in regarding President Obama’s decision on the proposed Keystone XL Canadian tar sands project. The statement from the White House is available here (basically, it blames “the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people”). Also, keep in mind that this project would have created no jobs, and in fact might have caused a net loss in jobs, according to an independent study by Cornell University researchers. Basically, this thing is a boondoggle for Big Oil, combined with really bad news for the environment, for absolutely no good reason. Other than that, it’s freakin’ brilliant! LOL

Anyway, here are reactions by Virginian politicians and environmental groups, starting with Rep. Jim Moran, with whom I agree 100% on this. I’ll add more as I see them, or as you let me know about them in the comments section. Thanks.

Moran Statement on Denial of the Keystone XL Pipeline Application

Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Ranking Member on the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline:

“I applaud President Obama’s decision to deny the application for the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Our collective national interests, whether economic, environmental, or national security, would be better served by reducing our addiction to fossil fuels. Instead, we should be investing in safer, cleaner energy sources of the future like wind and solar power. A robust investment in clean energy promotes thousands of higher-tech, higher paying jobs. Building a pipeline to tap one of the dirtiest sources of fuel and the few temporary jobs it might create are not in our nation’s best long term interests.”

Now, Environment Virginia:

President Obama Expected to Stand Up to Big Oil on Keystone XL Pipeline

Richmond, VA – According to media reports, President Obama and the State Department today will reject an effort to force administration approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Environment Virginia issued this statement in response:

“Today, President Obama will stand up to Big Oil’s latest attack on our health and environment by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline. While Congressional Republicans work tirelessly for Big Oil, President Obama is taking concrete steps to reduce our dependence on oil and to build a cleaner, healthier future for American families.

“The pipeline would have been a disaster for our climate, the quality of the air we breathe, and critical water resources across our country. It would have deepened our dependence on dirty oil from Canada’s tar sands, producing catastrophic levels of global warming pollution.

“Over the past year, hundreds of thousands of Americans have organized and demonstrated in opposition to Big Oil and their destructive environmental practices. Today’s decision shows that President Obama on the side of Americans concerned about protecting our health and environment from oil companies. This administration has helped stop the rush for dirty fuels, and it has enacted clean cars standards that will get us off oil, reduce air pollution and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“Environment Virginia thanks President Obama for protecting our environment and our health.”

Next, Tim Kaine:

Tim Kaine Statement on Keystone Pipeline Decision

Richmond, VA- Governor Tim Kaine today released the following statement regarding President Obama’s decision to accept a State Department recommendation to reject a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The State Department recommended denying the permit because there was not sufficient time to thoroughly review the project during the abbreviated window mandated by Congress.

“Today’s decision is yet another example of Washington’s dysfunction. Instead of a thorough review of the Keystone Pipeline project, Congressional Republicans pushed for a hasty decision and even went so far as to hold a middle class tax cut hostage until they got their way. The American people expect their leaders to make informed, rational decisions, not rush to judgment on important projects because of an artificial, politically-motivated deadline. It’s telling that the groups pushing for a decision before the review is complete are the oil companies and their allies like George Allen. In fact, Allen’s calls for approval of the Keystone Pipeline began even before the states actually impacted by this project had a chance to complete their reviews. As a former Governor, I would never support overriding the concerns of the affected states in order to rush a project of this magnitude. Just because Congress forced a rushed decision, however, does not mean the review of this project needs to stop. I hope that the administration will continue to examine this project and offer its thoughts on how it can be safely accomplished.

“We need every single job our businesses can create and the Keystone Pipeline may help increase energy supplies, but by itself, it is not a solution to either our economic crisis or our energy crisis. We shouldn’t let the Washington hype over this project allow us to lose sight of our larger economic and energy challenges. We must do much more at the state and federal level to help make the right investments in our infrastructure and our workforce to bolster long-term economic growth, and we need an actual ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. Oil production is now higher than it was under the previous administration. That is progress we need to maintain while also developing a clean energy economy. Our global competitors are winning that race right now, and we cannot afford to fall farther behind.”

And our old pal George Allen says (predictably):

This negative, political decision is a disappointing continuation of the counterproductive energy policies that are punishing working families and small business owners with unnecessarily high fuel and energy costs. These harmful approaches, which Tim Kaine supports, are causing higher costs for farmers, high food and gasoline costs for struggling families and fewer job opportunities for Americans. Virginians deserve a U.S. Senator who will put jobs and lower energy costs over partisan politics.  It’s time for America to take control of our own destiny by unleashing our plentiful energy resources to help create millions of jobs, increase our supply of affordable energy, allow Americans to access secure sources of energy, and keep our money here in the U.S.A. while generating trillions in revenues to the government – without raising taxes.

Eric Can’tor says (among other idiotic things): “Clearly the President has decided he is not serious if this is the decision he’s going to make on this particular project.”

  • Will Radle

    President Obama made the right decision. Whereas Mr. Moran calls it controversial, I do not see the controversy.

    We cannot risk polluting our nation’s largest aquifer. Period. To do so would be wrong and very dangerous. Building the pipeline so foreign companies can sell fuels in the Gulf of Mexico would leave us with the pollution and the risk. And little else.

    We thank President Obama for ultimately taking the correct, responsible action. We only ask why did it take so long?

  • “President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project stops Big Oil’s effort to export oil and raise gas prices for Americans. That definitely would not have been in the national interest.”

  • armstrbk

    The decision today from the Obama Administration is regrettable.  Approving the pipeline is the sound decision given our current economic and political climate.  Although we would like to believe that this helps to end our dependence on big oil and stick it to the Canadians for helping along global warming (who by the way are well on their way to retiring their entire coal fleet) it won’t.  The oil from the tar sands in Canada will find a way to market guaranteed.  All we have done is removed ourselves from the potential revenue and jobs created from this reality.

    I agree that our national interests are better served by a reduction to fossil fuels.  Unfortunately, Americas consumption of oil will not change tomorrow because of this decision.  As a consequence, we will continue to send money overseas to the middle east and south america.  Is that truly in the best interest of our national security?

    We are no further along the road to energy independence today then we were yesterday, and I would argue we’ve actually taken steps backwards.  It is time that we have a serious informed conversation about America’s energy future instead of what makes fragmented sound bites that talk about world that doesn’t exist.