Republican presidential candidates expressed fervent opposition to President Barack Obama’s announcement Friday rejecting the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. GOP contenders argued the decision was a politically motivated bow to environmentalists and could damage the U.S. economy, Politico reported.
“This is against our economic interest. This president continues to do things that harm working-class families in this country," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said on Fox Business, Politco reported. “This will raise prices for America, not lower prices, and it will have a bigger environmental impact, a negative impact."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also criticized Obama’s decision, calling it a “huge mistake,” and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal released a Twitter storm Friday morning, expressing his distaste for the decision. Businessman Donald Trump, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former New York Gov. George Pataki all tweeted their opposition to Obama’s decision as well, with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee even tweeting Obama had “lost his mind.”
Obama’s rejection of #KeystoneXL will flush American jobs down the drain... all to appease the agenda of science denying radicals.
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) November 6, 2015
So sad that Obama rejected Keystone Pipeline. Thousands of jobs, good for the environment, no downside!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2015
As President I’d authorize #KeystoneXL, and we'd get Americans to work!
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 6, 2015
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 6, 2015
TransCanada’s proposed pipeline would have run nearly 1,200 miles across six U.S. states, moving more than 800,000 barrels of carbon-heavy petroleum daily from Canada through Nebraska to refineries along the Gulf Coast, CNN reported. The project was hotly contested and pitted oil companies against environmentalists. Republicans had argued the pipeline would create jobs and ensure energy security while environmental activists and liberals were concerned about the effect the pipeline would have on climate change, International Business Times previously reported. Obama cited environmental concerns as the reasoning behind his rejection, and also referred to the country’s falling gasoline prices.
“While our politics have been consumed by a debate about whether or not this pipeline would create jobs or lower gas prices, we've gone ahead and created jobs and lowered gas prices,” Obama said.
Although Republicans were upset about Obama’s announcement, the Democratic candidates -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley -- applauded it.
“Climate change is a global environmental crisis of huge magnitude. It is insane for anyone to be supporting the excavation and transportation of some of the dirtiest fuel on Earth," said Sanders, Politco reported. "As someone who has led the opposition to the Keystone pipeline from Day 1, I strongly applaud the president’s decision to kill this project once and for all."
TransCanada, had requested a suspension of its federal permit Monday, but the White House said it would not suspend the application and promised Obama would make a decision before the end of his term as president.