Houston refineries impacted by pipeline denial

Published On: Jan 18 2012 05:54:23 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 18 2012 06:57:42 PM CST

Jan. 18, 2012: The decision by the Obama administration to deny the proposed Keystone Pipeline project could have a major impact on jobs in Houston and throughout the state.

HOUSTON -

The decision by President Barack Obama's administration to deny the proposed Keystone Pipeline project could have a major impact on jobs in Houston and throughout the state.

The State Department said it wasn't given enough time to review the project that would have brought 700,000 barrels of oil a day to refineries in Houston and along the Gulf Coast. It was also expected to add 20,000 jobs nationwide.

"Sixty days is simply not enough time," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. "We don't even have an alternate route identified, so how could anyone possibly review it?"

The $7 billion project envisions a 36-inch pipe running 1,700 miles from the oil sands of Canada to Houston refineries.

Industry analyst Albert Myers said not getting this project will hurt construction, service and pipe companies.

Republicans, such as House Speaker John Boehner, were quick to criticize the president's decision saying he is "destroying tens of thousands of American jobs and shipping American energy security to the Chinese."

Even some Democrats were critical. Houston U.S. Rep. Gene Green said he was "very disappointed in the president's decision today."

Environmentalists, however, hail it as a victory. They contend the project could contaminate Nebraska ground water and raise carbon emissions.

"Millions of people around the country have drawn a line in the sand on this issue and said 'We don't want this pipeline,'" environmentalist Damon Moglen said.

Some observers think the Keystone Pipeline isn't really dead -- just on hold until after the election. Obama said that TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, could reapply for the permit.

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