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Obama rejection of Keystone pipeline both panned, praised


From Illinois Business Journal news services

President Obama’s decision Friday to reject the construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline prompted widespread response, with most of the Illinois reaction falling along party lines.

“Today, President Obama chose politics over people,” said U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville. “I’m certainly not surprised by his decision but I am extremely disappointed. We continue to see the impact this administration’s attack on our energy sector is having on Illinois families.”

The Keystone XL pipeline, which has been pending for years and would be built from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, has had the support of business and labor groups and has been estimated to create more than 40,000 jobs.

Davis said the action followed a pattern.

“It seems like every other week there is another announcement about a coal mine or power plant forced to close because of new rules and regulations coming from the Executive Branch. Instead of encouraging energy independence and job growth within this industry, the president continues to placate his political base,” Davis said.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was supportive of the president’s move, however.

“The Senate spent a great deal of time looking at this project, and by every measure it came up short. While the project would have been a boon to one well-connected company in Canada, it wouldn’t have moved our country one step closer to energy independence. On top of that, the pipeline posed a threat to the environment, our public lands, and our public health. I’m glad to see this project finally off the table. President Obama and Secretary Kerry made the right move.”

Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Michael Whatley said the president was going against the majority of Americans.

He said in a statement:

“”Consumer Energy Alliance joins American energy consumers across the nation in expressing their deep disappointment in President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. In doing so, he has thumbed his nose at more than two thirds of Americans who support reducing energy imports from unfriendly nations; who support job creation; who support friendly relations with our Canadian neighbors; who support regulatory decisions based on science, not politics; and who support big ideas and big achievements.

“”This decision clearly flies in the face of volumes of scientific evidence that shows the Keystone XL pipeline would be safe, enhance environmental standards, and be a more cost-effective alternative to importing oil from overseas. It also disregards the work done by the Department of State, Department of Energy and PHMSA which have collectively concluded that Keystone XL would be the safest pipeline ever built in the United States, reduce gasoline and diesel prices and reduce carbon emissions associated moving oil into American refineries.”

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