Richmond, VA - Governor Tim Kaine today released the following statement regarding President Obama's decision to accept a State Department recommendation to reject a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The State Department recommended denying the permit because there was not sufficient time to thoroughly review the project during the abbreviated window mandated by Congress.
"Today's decision is yet another example of Washington's dysfunction. Instead of a thorough review of the Keystone Pipeline project, Congressional Republicans pushed for a hasty decision and even went so far as to hold a middle class tax cut hostage until they got their way. The American people expect their leaders to make informed, rational decisions, not rush to judgment on important projects because of an artificial, politically-motivated deadline. It's telling that the groups pushing for a decision before the review is complete are the oil companies and their allies like George Allen. In fact, Allen's calls for approval of the Keystone Pipeline began even before the states actually impacted by this project had a chance to complete their reviews. As a former Governor, I would never support overriding the concerns of the affected states in order to rush a project of this magnitude. Just because Congress forced a rushed decision, however, does not mean the review of this project needs to stop. I hope that the administration will continue to examine this project and offer its thoughts on how it can be safely accomplished.
"We need every single job our businesses can create and the Keystone Pipeline may help increase energy supplies, but by itself, it is not a solution to either our economic crisis or our energy crisis. We shouldn't let the Washington hype over this project allow us to lose sight of our larger economic and energy challenges. We must do much more at the state and federal level to help make the right investments in our infrastructure and our workforce to bolster long-term economic growth, and we need an actual 'all of the above' energy strategy. Oil production is now higher than it was under the previous administration. That is progress we need to maintain while also developing a clean energy economy. Our global competitors are winning that race right now, and we cannot afford to fall farther behind."