TransCanada/FoxNews

The controversial Keystone XL Pipeline has been denied a permit by President Obama following a recommendation from the State Department.

President Obama released the following statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline:

January 18, 2012

Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State's recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  As the State Department made clear last month, 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.  As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied.  And after reviewing the State Department's report, I agree.

This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people.  I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration's commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.  Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down.  In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security -including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico - even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas.  And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.

FOX Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen weighs in on why this decision was made:

The Obama administration wanted to give some more time so that the pipeline could potentially be rerouted so that it wouldn't affect a particular aquifer which gives drinking water to eight states that's located in the state of Nebraska.

The legislation that the President's referring to didn't make any reference to Nebraska it just would've forced the President to make an up or down, yes or no decision on the pipeline by February 21st.

In fact Nebraska would've had unlimited time to study alternate routes.

News of the rejection has spread fast along the campaign trail, making the controversial pipeline an instant issue for GOP presidential candidates.

FOX News Radio's Eben Brown reports:

Newt Gingrich tells a crowd here at Bobby's Barbecue in Warrenville, South Carolina, that the President is stupid to veto the Keystone Project.

(Gingrich)"There's no better word for it. These people are so out of touch with reality, it's as though they were governing Mars."
 
That remark drew big cheers here. He says the President is undermining American energy independence and security while forcing Canada into a partnership with China. And is preventing the creation of up to 50,000 American jobs.
 
Mitt Romney, also reacting, says the President is not serious about bringing down unemployment and achieving energy independence.
 
In Warrenville, South Carolina, Eben Brown, FOX News Radio