The controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, proposed to run from Alberta and the Gulf Coast, was blocked on Wednesday after the Obama Administration cited insufficient time for review.
President Obama made it clear that Wednesday’s decision "is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people."
The announcement leaves the door open for TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline company spearheading the project, to reapply once the company maps an alternate route around the Ogallala aquifer.
The Obama Administration has been receiving pressure from both sides of the political spectrum in recent months concerning the pipeline project, which supporters tout as providing much needed jobs and state revenue, as well as a more stable energy source. Opponents to the project have come out strongly against the pipeline’s environmental impact, calling instead for further investments in clean, renewable energy.
As the pipeline would cross an international boundary, jurisdiction fell upon the State Department to ultimately decide the fate of the project.
"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,'' Obama said. "As a result, the secretary of state has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department's report, I agree."
Some proponents of the project have called this move politically motivated, and will push again for the pipeline once the election season is past. "This is not the end of the fight," said House Speaker John Boehner.