Obama Takes Flak Over Keystone Rejection
Editorials largely take the president to task
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2012 1:56 PM CST
President Obama speaks about a new strategy to boost tourism and travel during a visit to the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, Jan. 19, 2012, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(Newser) – Barack Obama's decision to reject TransCanada's Keystone XL oil pipeline has set a lot of tongues wagging, with some of the biggest papers in the country devoting today's editorials to it. Here's what they're saying:

  • "We almost hope this was a political call," says the Washington Post, "because on substance, there should be no question." Without the pipeline, TransCanada will sell to China, and US refineries will import from the Middle East—resulting in a lot more oil crossing the ocean in tankers.

  • The State Department concluded that the president needed more time. "This is, to put it politely, a crock," writes the Wall Street Journal. Keystone "only became a political issue after the environmental lobby decided to make it a station of the green cross." State already declared it environmentally safe in 2010 and 2011.
  • "It's going to be a long, long year in Washington," laments the Chicago Tribune, reasoning that Obama wanted to avoid handing Republicans an election-year victory. "The problem is, Keystone should be approved. … You want stimulus? This is a $7 billion deal to be done with private-sector funding."
  • But the New York Times is with the president, saying he did indeed need time to consider "the risks inherent in the project: harm to the Canadian boreal forests and threats to water supplies in the Midwest." It notes that one of the pipeline's chief opponents is Nebraska's governor—a Republican.