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President Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline

Photo: Marvin Lynchard / DoD Photo: Marvin Lynchard / DoD

WASHINGTON D.C._President Barack Obama announced Friday morning that the Keystone XL pipeline would not become a reality and stated the project was not in the best interest of America’s national interests.

“This morning, Secretary Kerry informed me that, after extensive public outreach and consultation with other Cabinet agencies, the State Department has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States.  I agree with that decision,” President Obama said in a press conference.

President Obama went over three points why the State Department rejected the proposed pipeline. He says the pipeline project would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to the economy and that Congress would be better off creating and passing a bipartisan infrastructure plan. He went on to say the pipeline would not lower gas prices and it’s been steadily falling, about 77 cents over the past year. Finally, he stated shipping the crude oil into the country would not increase America’s energy security.

The full text of President Obama’s statement can be found here.

The president of TransCanada, Russ Girling, says, “Misplaced symbolism was chosen over merit and science.'' And Canada's new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, says he's ``disappointed'' in the decision, but he still plans to pursue a ``fresh start'' with Obama.

A request to build the Keystone XL pipeline was first sent to the U.S. State Department on September 19, 2008. The 1,179-mile pipeline would have started in Canada at Hardisty, Alberta, and made its way through Cushing, Oklahoma, and eventually reach the Gulf of Mexico.

“It continues to be absolutely mind-boggling that President Obama and his administration will not approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. It’s an important driver of economic growth and even President Obama’s State Department says it will create over 42,000 jobs. It will also support North American Energy production, which is good for both our economic security and our national security,” Governor Mary Fallin said in a press release. “Hopefully, future leadership in the White House will reverse this decision and make energy policy based on common sense instead of political pressure from anti-fossil fuel extremists.”

A State Department environmental impact statement released January 2014 states the pipeline project would only create 35 permanent jobs and 15 temporary contract jobs after the pipeline’s construction was completed.

“We finally have the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ the President could not give years ago. For seven years, the Obama Administration has delayed the application to build the Keystone Pipeline without justification. With their application pending for 2604 days, the Administration denied a simple request to build a safe pipeline to transport crude oil. The President has completely ignored the 19 crude oil cross-border pipelines currently operating in the U.S., two of which were approved last summer. The Administration has failed to make the case for how this project is different. It is clear this decision was made to appease the environmental extremists, and not based on the merits of the project,” Senator James Lankford said in a press release.

President Obama says he will continue to work with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada on a range of issues, including energy and climate change.

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