Obama, GOP Already Trading Keystone Criticism
Decision to reject pipeline (for now) turns into political football
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2012 3:03 PM CST
President Obama waves while walking off Air Force One in Chicago on Jan. 11.   (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

(Newser) – As expected, the White House said it won't issue a permit for the Keystone oil pipeline, with President Obama blaming Republicans for setting an impossible deadline to score political points, reports the Hill. The back-and-forth on the election-year issue already has begun:

  • Obama: “As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment," he said. “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil."

  • John Boehner: “The president wants to put this off until it’s convenient for him, that is after the election. The president has the opportunity to create 100,000 jobs almost immediately. The president should say yes.”
  • Newt Gingrich: He called Obama's decision "stunningly stupid" during a campaign stop in South Carolina, notes the Wall Street Journal. "There’s no other word for it. These people are so out-of-touch with reality it’s as if they’re governing Mars."