Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Delayed, Likely Until 2013
A decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline will be delayed—possibly by more than a year—as the State Department looks to find alternative routes for the highly contested 1,700-mile route, the agency announced today in a statement.
President Obama was initially expected to make a decision on the project, which thousands have protested in recent months, including a massive day of action on Sunday when 12,000 activists surrounded the White House. The delay will now likely move the decision into 2013, according to the New York Times.
“The Department has determined it is necessary to examine in-depth alternative routes that would avoid the Sand Hills in Nebraska in order to move forward with a National Interest Determination for the Presidential Permit,” the statement reads.
Obama said in a statement that he supports the delay.
“Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood,” he said. “The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.”
Activists have raised serious concerns with the environmental impacts of the pipeline, and a recent Washington Post article indicated that the project wouldn’t create as many jobs as backers had previously promised. The pipeline would move thousands of barrels of oil from Canada to Texas daily.
Brian Stewart is the Communications Director at Generation Progress. You can follow him on Twitter @brianstewart.