President Barack Obama on Friday rejected the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada after seven years of protesting by environmental activists.
According to Reuters, Obama stated at a press conference that “The pipeline would not make a meaningful long term contribution to our economy” and added that it would not be reducing gasoline prices and U.S. energy security would not be increased with the shipping of dirtier crude from Canada.
The Keystone XL pipeline was supposed to link the pipeline network between Canada and the United States, brining crude from Alberta and North Dakota to Illinois refineries and to the Gulf of Mexico coast. Denying TransCanada Corp’s 800,000 barrels a day will make the development of the province of the Alberta’s oil sands much more difficult.
However, the rejection of the Keystone pipeline puts the United States in the leading position ahead of the Paris conference for climate change on the 30th of November, where countries from all over the world would try to negotiate a comprehensive deal to slow global warming.
According to Reuters, before Obama made his decision of rejection, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that the Keystone pipeline is in no way of interest to the United States. He said that if approved the Keystone “would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combating climate change.”
TransCanda Corps requested the Presidential permit to make the cross-border section in 2008, but was met with protests by environmental and climate change activists that opposed fossil fuel extraction in Canada’s oil sands.
According to Reuters, Bill McKibben, the co-founder of the 350.org environmental group said “This is a big win” and added that President Obama’s decision is “nothing short of historic, and sets an important precedent that should send shockwaves through the fossil fuel industry.”
The newly elected Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, who was a strong supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline said that he was disappointed in the decision, but added that the Canadian and American relationship is much bigger than any other project.
According to State Department officials, TransCanada Corps would have to reapply in order to consider a new pipeline project that would go to the United States. The company has already asked the Obama administration to postpone the decision in hope that it would be decided by a new U.S. President.
The Keystone XL pipeline is opposed by all of the Democratic Presidential hopefuls, including the frontrunner Hillary Clinton. On the other hand, most of the Republicans are in favor of the project and had an unsuccessful attempt to approve the Keystone with a Congress vote, but Obama vetoed the legislation.