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AP image by Nam Y. Huh AP image by Nam Y. Huh  

Obama nixes pipeline, 20,000 jobs

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Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama used a press release today to blame the GOP for his decision to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline, and its estimated 20,000 construction jobs.

“I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil,” Obama said in a statement released at 3:13 p.m.

Obama’s use of a press release denied TV programs any dramatic footage of him announcing the job-killing decision.

The GOP is responsible for the decision, Obama said, because it gave the administration only 60 days to review the safety of the company’s construction plans.

In November, Obama extended the State Department’s nearly complete review until after the November election, amid much opposition from environmentalist groups.

“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,” said Obama’s statement.

“As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied … after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree,” Obama said.

The pipeline, however, has got a green light from Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, whose state would be crossed by the proposed pipeline. The project is also supported by blue-collar unions whose members would likely build, operate and maintain the pipeline.

Obama also used his statement to claim that his administration is boosting energy exploration.

“In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security — including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico — even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas,” his statement declared.

Executives in the oil and gas industry, however, complain about Obama’s policies, claiming that they hinder energy discovery and transport.

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