Washington, Jan 19 (IANS/EFE) The US government said Wednesday it has decided not to give permission for a proposed pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, a project hailed by the domestic oil industry but denounced by environmental groups and landowners along the route.
"The Department of State recommended to President (Barack) Obama that the presidential permit for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline be denied and that, at this time, the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline be determined not to serve the national interest," authorities said.
Obama, who had delegated the process of evaluating the project to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said in a separate statement that he agreed with her agency's recommendation.
The Obama administration has left the door open for Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. to reapply for a permit at a later date after coming up with a more environmentally acceptable route.
The proposed 2,735-km pipeline would transport crude bitumen from the western Canadian province of Alberta to the Texas coast. Based on the original route, staunchly opposed by environmentalists, the duct would have run through the states of Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
Due to those concerns, the State Department said in November it would evaluate alternative routes that would avoid the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills area of Nebraska and it estimated the review process would be completed and a decision made in the first quarter of 2013, or after the presidential election.