President Barack Obama’s rejection of a controversial U.S.-Canadian oil pipeline signals U.S. leadership on climate change, but it’s not expected to stop the growth in Canada’s oil production —at least not anytime soon.
Ending a seven-year saga, Obama announced Friday that his administration would not give Calgary-based TransCanada a U.S. permit to build the Keystone XL’s northern leg, which would carry carbon-heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands into the U.S. Midwest.
Obama said the pipeline would not boost the U.S. economy or lower gasoline prices. He further said the country doesn’t need Keystone for energy security because of its own oil boom. Plus, with UN climate talks beginning later this month in Paris, he said the U.S. needs to set an example on climate change.
“Approving this project would have undercut that global leadership,” Obama said at the White House, calling the oil it would carry “dirtier.” A State Department review said this viscous oil would produce 17 percent more heat-trapping carbon emissions over its life cycle than average U.S. crude.