Click for an enlarged version of the pipeline map (image source: US Department of State)

Initial Keystone XL Pipeline Rejection Reactions

ICTMN Staff
1/19/12

UPDATED, JANUARY 19, 3:06 P.M. Following the news January 18, that President Barack Obama and the federal government rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline plan due to a lack of time for review, reactions from Senators, tribal leaders and indigenous groups started to appear. Some reactions supported the rejection and others were against it.

The Obama administration after the rejection made it clear that TransCanada, the company who owns the pipeline, would be able to reapply for a permit following some redevelopment.

Below are the early reactions to the latest Keystone XL Pipeline news:

“Secretary Clinton was very clear ahead of time that if she was forced to make a decision on the pipeline without all of the environmental studies being completed, that she would have to recommend against it. So there’s actually no surprise here – this is exactly what she said she would have to do if she was forced to make a decision on this timeframe. I’m hopeful that once the necessary environmental studies are done, this project can be considered on the merits.” — Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.

This is a victory for our Mother Earth. By stopping this pipeline we have bought some time to regroup and to escalate our efforts to stop big oil and their attempts to hard wire dirty tar sands into our economy for the next century. While I applaud the decision of the Obama administration, we must remain vigilant with the knowledge that TransCanada, Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and others will escalate their efforts to keep us hooked on Dirty tar sands.” — Clayton Thomas-Muller, campaign director, Indigenous Environmental Network

“Yesterday the President’s Jobs Council called for an ‘all-in’ energy policy, including increased production of oil and natural gas, and construction of pipelines to deliver that energy to market. Today, however, election-year politics have trumped good policy, with the American people as the losers. Given the economic instability in the world and the growing threats to our nation’s energy security, I am disappointed that the president would deny or further delay a pipeline that would deliver vitally needed jobs and provide oil from our most reliable ally and biggest trading partner.” — Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

“The decision to reject this pipeline comes from the opposition of the many indigenous communities and our allies. The Mother Earth Accord outlined the serious implications the pipeline would’ve had on the people, our rights and our lands. This is a major victory for indigenous communities across Turtle Island. We hope the Canadian government recognizes Obama’s rejection as a sign to slow down the current pace of development in the tar sands. Rapid expansion in the tar sands has left developers struggling for inexpensive ways to ship, refine and sell their oil. Stopping these massive pipelines is key to stopping further destruction of our territory. We are still working to oppose Shell’s proposed tar sands expansion of open pit mining projects in our traditional territory in Northern Alberta. We hope that you all join the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation this year in opposing Shell’s projects and the development of the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Together we can protect our lands, our futures and our treaty rights.” — Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam

“I am disappointed in the President’s decision. Just as I have supported Montana’s renewable energy jobs, I have long supported responsibly building this pipeline with the highest safety standards and with respect for private property rights. Oil, coal, natural gas, wind, geothermal and biofuels all provide good jobs in Montana. I will continue to champion Montana’s role in securing America’s energy future.” — Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

“On January 18, 2012, President Barack Obama rejected the application for the construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline. The rejected pipeline would have carried tar sands sludge, a substance 16 times more toxic than regular crude oil through an area containing the largest source of fresh water in the United States. A spill would have been an economic and environmental disaster. A similar pipeline project crossing eastern North and South Dakota has had 14 leaks spilling 14,000 gallon in North Dakota. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe joins the coalition of the Great Plain’s Tribal Chairman’s Association, the Indigenous Environmental Network, Owe Aku International Justice Project, the First Nations of Canada and numerous grass roots organizations in hailing the rejection of the TransCanada XL Pipeline as a tremendous victory for tribal nations, treaty rights, protections of cultural, historic, and sacred sites and the Oglala Aquifer. However we must remain vigilant as big oil will mount an attack on President Obama and will continue to pursue its efforts to get this project approved. We have won a battle but the war has yet to be won. We all must protect Mother Earth and we stand with those that continue to protect her.” — Rosebud Sioux Tribe President Rodney Bordeaux

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