Obama’s decision not only prevents thousands of barrels a day of the heavy crude from Canada’s tar sands from traveling over U.S. soil but also cements the USA’s leadership role in climate change globally, said Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Project at the National Resources Defense Council, which has strongly opposed the pipeline.
“It’s a clear signal to the international community that the United States is serious about addressing climate change,” Swift said.
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, Republican chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, blasted the president’s decision, saying the project could have strengthened America’s energy infrastructure.
“President Obama has put the final nail in the Keystone XL pipeline’s coffin, thereby nailing his legacy as the most anti-energy extremist President the nation has ever had,” Bishop said in a statement. “This is one of the most radical and dangerous moves that the President could make in his final term.”
Russ Girling, president and chief executive of TransCanada, the Canadian firm that would build the pipeline, expressed his disappointment in a lengthy statement, saying the pipeline was safer than transporting the crude through trains and trucks across the USA and would lead to 9,000 immediate American jobs.
“Today’s decision deals a damaging blow to jobs, the economy and the environment on both sides of the border,” the statement said.