Demonstrators carry a giant mock pipeline while calling for the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline during a rally in front of the White House in Washington November 6, 2011.

Bowing to pressure from environmental groups, President Obama on Wednesday rejected a permit application by TransCanada that would have allowed construction to begin on the 1,700 mile Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas and would have directly created 20,000 jobs for Americans and brought over 700,000 barrels of oil per day. The Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates that current pipeline operations and the addition of the Keystone XL pipeline would create 179,000 American jobs by 2035.

Heritage Foundation energy expert Nick Loris finds the President’s delay “stunning but not unexpected”.

At a time when unemployment remains unacceptably high, Iran is threatening the Strait of Hormuz, and Canada is looking to take this oil elsewhere, it is difficult to understand how the President could say no to thousands of jobs and an increase in energy supply from our ally.

Interestingly enough, while the President says the State Department did not have enough time to conduct a thorough study of the project’s environmental impact, the State Department has already conducted a thorough, three-year environmental review with multiple comment periods.

“DOS studied and addressed risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, wildlife, and endangered species,”  says Loris, “They concluded that the construction of the pipeline would pose minimal environmental risk.”

Keystone XL also met 57 specific pipeline safety standard requirements created by DOS and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The pipeline would be equipped with 16,000 sensors connected to satellite that would monitor the pressure of the pipeline.

Read Nick Loris’s full report on the State Department’s findings and how this job-creating project has become a partisan issue.

What do you think? Is the President delaying shovel-ready jobs in an effort to cater to special interests?

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