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Obama rejects Keystone pipeline

The Obama administration on Wednesday rejected the Keystone crude oil pipeline project. It was a decision welcomed by environmental groups but blasted by Republicans. White House spokesman Jay Carney blamed the Republicans for imposing a February deadline on the administration's review of TransCanada Corp's plan to build the 1,700 pipeline. SOUNDBITE: White House Spokesman Jay Carney saying: "There is a proper process that has existed for many years and many administrations by which a project like this is reviewed and a permit is either granted or denied. Because of concerns expressed by numerous stakeholders including the Republican governor of Nebraska it was decided that an alternate route through Nebraska was necessary. The choosing of that alternate route has not even been completed yet. The State Department which conducts and oversees this multi-agency review process made clear at the time in December that inserting this extraneous provision in an attempt to get a political victory, because for some reason extending a tax cut to 160 million Americans wasn't victory enough the Republicans put in jeopardy a process that should be immune from politics, should be conducted on the basis of pragmatic and considered analysis and tried to hijack it." The announcement prompted a swift response from Republicans. SOUNDBITE: John Boehner, Speaker Of The United States House Of Representatives saying: "I'll just say this. This not the end of the fight. Republicans in Congress will continue to push this because it's good for our country and it's good for our economy and it's good for the American people, especially those who are looking for work." Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was even more direct. SOUNDBITE: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich saying: "This is a stunningly stupid thing to do. Obama's decision is stupid on three grounds. There is no better word for it. These people are so out of touch with reality it's as though they were governing Mars." The Obama administration says it will study a new pipeline route, but will delay final approval beyond the U.S. 2012 election. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.

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