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Obama Rejects Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, Citing Climate Change

President Obama announced that he’s rejecting the application to extend the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, ending a 7-year political battle.

As The Wall Street Journal expected, he cited climate change as the main reason for rejecting the pipeline by Canadian energy giant TransCanada that would carry petroleum from Canada all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Claims the pipeline would generate jobs were overblown, he said, in remarks from the White Housethis morning: “The pipeline would not make a meaningful longterm contribution to our economy.”

The fact that gas prices happen to be low right now and that Obama is nearing the end of his presidency made his decision easier.

The Associated Press says that it will also allow Obama to burnish his environmentalist credentials in anticipation of United Nations summit on climate change in Paris next month:

Killing the pipeline allows Obama to claim aggressive action on the environment. That 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.

The pipeline would have been 1,179 miles and carried 800,000 barrels of carbon-heavy petroleum a day from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf. Environmentalists said the pipeline would provide a conduit for extracting oil that leaves a worrisome large carbon footprint—the process of extracting this oil produces 17 percent more planet-warming greenhouse gases than conventional oil. However, the issue has been politically charged and Obama has up until now stayed on the fencein the hopes of not alienating moderate Democrats. The House passed a bill approving the pipeline last year, and the Senate rejected it.

The NY Times notes that now that Canada has a new prime minister who isn’t pushing the pipeline so hard, he doesn’t have to worry about alienating our allies to the North.

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