Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline

Friday November 06, 2015
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Nov. 6, 2015 - U.S. President Barack Obama has rejected TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline, capping a seven-year saga that became an environmental flashpoint in both Canada and the United States.

Obama said the Keystone pipeline would “not serve the national interests” of the U.S., adding that the project had an overly inflated role in the political discourse between both countries.

The president added that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was disappointed by the decision, but understood.

TransCanada said it was reviewing its options, including filing a new permit.

“TransCanada and its shippers remain absolutely committed to building this important energy infrastructure project,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and CEO.

Calgary-based TransCanada first applied for Keystone permits in September 2008 — shortly before Obama was elected. As envisioned, Keystone would snake from Canada’s oilsands through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, then connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to specialized refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The 1,900-km proposed pipeline has been in limbo for more than seven years, awaiting a series of U.S. reviews that have dragged on more than five times longer than average, according to a recent Associated Press analysis. The pipeline would have required a presidential permit to cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

Killing the pipeline allows Obama to claim aggressive action on the environment, which could strengthen his hand as world leaders prepare to finalize major global climate pact next month that Obama hopes will be a crowning jewel for his legacy.

Energy groups have blasted the decision, arguing that Obama was discounting years of analysis by federal agencies that they said proved Keystone could be built to be safe and environmentally sound.

— With files from Josh Lederman, The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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