The Obama Administration rejected the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project on Wednesday, scuttling a key energy initiative that would have created an influx of badly-needed U.S. jobs, but one that has also riled environmentalists.
The news, which was first reported by FOX News Channel, sparked a fierce response from Republicans and proponents of the project.
It also triggered a selloff in shares of Calgary-based TransCanada (TRP: 42.36, +0.21, +0.50%), which was poised to build the crude oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. After slumping to as low as $39.74, TransCanada was recently down just 0.84% at $41.39.
The White House, which faced a February 21 deadline to make a final decision on the project, blamed Republicans.
“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,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
However, Obama said the announcement “is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline” that prevented the fact-finding needed to approve the project.