The news comes after White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference that President Barack Obama cannot approve the pipeline by the February 21 deadline imposed by Congress.
It also comes after House and Senate lawmakers signaled they would introduce new legislation pushing the permit forward even if the Obama administration rejected the proposal. That bill, drafted by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), would have shut the White House out of the decision making process around Keystone, leaving Congress full authority to issue approval of the pipeline, which would stretch an estimated 1,700 miles from tar sands in Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast.
The State Department’s permitting process technically applies only to the portion of the pipeline that crosses the international border between Canada and the United States. Rejecting that permit might prevent the pipeline from being built in its entirety, but sources familiar with the process tell The Huffington Post that TransCanada should be able to build a shovel-ready southern portion of the pipeline — between Oklahoma and Texas — without further approvals. TransCanada, the corporation that stands to profit from construction of the $7 billion pipeline, can also re-apply for the border crossing at any time, sources said.
Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org who spearheaded the movement against the pipeline, reacted to the news in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
Read the whole story: Huffington Post