Obama Administration Expected To Reject Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Today

Source: Brian Montopoli / CBS News

The Obama administration is expected to reject TransCanada’s controversial $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline later Wednesday, a source familiar with the decision told CBS News, adding that a formal announcement is expected from the State Department.

Multiple media outlets have reported that the decision is imminent, citing unnamed sources, but the White House and the State Department have not confirmed the announcement.

As part of deal last December extending the payroll tax cut for two months, Congress imposed a Feb. 21 decision on President Obama to issue or reject the permit. Language in the deal mandates that only the president can block the Keystone Pipeline project, and the impact of an expected State Department announcement is not clear. Shares in TransCanada Corp fell following initial reports about a decision.

According to one source, the administration plans to cite the environmental dangers posed by the pipeline’s proposed route through Nebraska. While the administration plans to reject a permit for TransCanada to build the pipeline under the current proposal, the company could pitch an alternate route for the planned 1,700 mile underground oil pipeline linking the tar sands fields of northern Alberta to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

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