President Obama's rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline this week spurred some strong reactions, both from critics and supporters of the $7 billion project. Many environmentalists and Nebraska ranchers are declaring victory, even as they acknowledge the proposal could be revived. Pipeline boosters, meanwhile, are fuming over the decision and vowing to keep fighting.
Here's a roundup of some key reactions:
In an official White House statement
"As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline's impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department's report, I agree."
Founder, 350.org and Tar Sands Action
"[T]his 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."
President, Natural Resources Defense Council
"President Obama's decision represents a victory of truth over misinformation. Here in the United States, oil companies trumpet false job claims and promise a secure supply of oil. But in the Canadian press, oil companies talk freely about using the pipeline to export oil to Asian markets and charge more money for the oil they do sell in the U.S. The facts reveal this pipeline was never in America's national interest. It would have endangered our people, our air, our water and our lands for the benefit of oil companies. The Obama administration rejected the Keystone XL pipeline for all the right reasons."
"This outcome is one of the scenarios we anticipated. While we are disappointed, TransCanada remains fully committed to the construction of Keystone XL. Plans are already underway on a number of fronts to largely maintain the construction schedule of 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."
Premier of Alberta
"I am extremely disappointed with today's decision by the State Department to reject the Keystone XL pipeline application. ... Alberta has always considered the U.S. our strongest and most important trading partner. The State Department's decision strengthens our resolve to pursue access to alternative markets. Today's decision also reinforces the need for a Canadian energy strategy and why Alberta must focus on market diversification with a clear aim to Asia-Pacific. I have discussed this issue with the Prime Minister on many occasions and we continue to be in constant communications with him."
GOP presidential candidate
"President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is as shocking as it is revealing. It shows a President who once again has put politics ahead of sound policy. If Americans want to understand why unemployment in the United States has been stuck above 8 percent for the longest stretch since the Great Depression, decisions like this one are the place to begin. By declaring that the Keystone pipeline is not in the 'national interest,' the President demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth and achieving energy independence. He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base."
Speaker of the House
"The President was given the authority to block this project only — and only — if he believes it's not in the national interest of the United States. Is it not in the national interest to create tens of thousands of jobs here in America with private investment? Is it not in the national interest to get energy resources from an ally like Canada as opposed to some countries in the Middle East?"
Fourth-generation Nebraska rancher
"President Obama has made the right choice to deny the permit for the TransCanada Keystone Export pipeline, and for that, I thank him. The people of the United States who have been fighting the threat of this pipeline for years all share one simple belief: that the future safety of our land and water and the health and wellness of people and communities are more important than foreign oil profits. It is encouraging to see a leader who shares that belief. At a time in our nation's history when there is unprecedented corporate influence of our elected officials, we need to seek out and support those leaders who will fight for the American people, our natural resources, and a sustainable future for our children."
Also on MNN: