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US rejects Keystone XL pipeline, citing combatting climate change as critical factor; Kerry: arguments pro and con “overstated”

On Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry issued his determination that “the national interest of the United States would be best served by denying TransCanada a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama agrees with this determination and the eight federal agencies consulted under Executive Order 13337 have accepted it.

The determination by the State Department brings to an end the much delayed, deferred and debated permit process that would have allowed TransCanada to built the fourth phase of its Keystone pipeline system to bring more oil sands crude from Canada to refineries in the US. In response, TransCanada announced it would review all of its options, including filing a new application to receive a Presidential Permit for a cross-border crude oil pipeline from Canada to the United States.

Several days ago, TransCanada had requested suspension of the permit process, a request denied by the US.

Secretary Kerry said that he based the decision on key findings by the State Department, including:

  • The proposed project has a negligible impact on US energy security.

  • The proposed project would not lead to lower gasoline prices for American consumers.

  • The proposed project’s long-term contribution to the US economy would be marginal.

  • The proposed project raises a range of concerns about the impact on local communities, water supplies, and cultural heritage sites.

  • The proposed project would facilitate transportation into the US country of a particularly dirty source of fuel.

The critical factor in my determination was this: moving forward with this project would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combatting climate change.

I am also convinced that public arguments for and against the pipeline have, to some extent, been overstated. Our analysis makes it clear that the Keystone XL pipeline would not be the economic driver it is heralded to be. On the other hand, while it would facilitate the transportation to the United States of one of the dirtiest sources of fuel on the planet, the proposed project by itself is unlikely to significantly impact the level of crude extraction or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States. The reality is that this decision could not be made solely on the numbers—jobs that would be created, dirty fuel that would be transported here, or carbon pollution that would ultimately be unleashed.

… The United States needs to prioritize the development of renewable energy opportunities and continue to transition to the kind of jobs that better utilize our skilled manufacturing base. Clean energy is not just the solution to climate change; it’s also one of the greatest economic opportunities the world has ever seen. If we continue to make smart choices, American businesses and American workers stand to benefit enormously.

… The United States cannot ask other nations to make tough choices to address climate change if we are unwilling to make them ourselves. Denying the Keystone XL pipeline is one of those tough choices – but it is the right decision, for America and the world.

—Secretary Kerry

Comments

TeslaRedux.co

Amazing, love the swift action!

What will they do with pipe already in place?

Brotherkenny4

VSDC: there are refineries elsewhere in the Midwest. The only reason they wanted to connect to Houston was so they could refine and ship the distillates to other markets overseas. People now say that the oil will go to china, but it was likely that the distillates would have gone there anyway. We would have built a pipeline not for this nation, but for the businesses of Canada and China.

ai_vin

Well I'm a Canadian and I still have to say I agree with this decision. It did nothing for America and it would only have made our dutch disease worst.

SJC

We already import oil from Venezuela, refine it then ship it out. The Koch brothers hate Venezuela so they promoted the XL.

HarveyD

The East-West and Trans-Mountain Pacific pipelines may have to be partially and/or totally abandoned for the very same reasons.

Railroad people will like it? They've already increased their oil transportation share by 100X+ in many cases and growing?

More investment in CN, CP and many others may be a good idea.

Lad

The XL is part of the oil companies plan to export crude directly from the U.S. to foreign refineries. ConocoPhillips propaganda says U.S. refineries are set up to process sour crude from foreign nations, i.e., Canada, etc., not the light crude from U.S. drilling and fracturing. It's all hog wash in an attempt to get the Congress to lift the 40 year ban on exporting U.S. crude. The two keys for huge oil company profits are a finished XL pipeline and permission to export crude oil. And of course, you know what will happen to the price of fuel at the pump when the oil companies sl

To make the oil plant all work, The XL has to be finished and Congress must lift the export ban.

Lad

Sorry...my PC froze; here is the rest of paragraph one '...when the oil companies sell off all the U.S. crude..supply and demand says it will go up.

Paragraph two corrected: To make the oil plan work, The XL has to be finished and Congress must lift the export ban.

SJC

One political party wants to export U.S. oil and sell off the Petroleum Reserve, you might guess which one.

HarveyD

Since USA and Canada are consuming more and more locally produced oil and pipelines construction are delayed by many years, manufacturers of new improved rail oil tankers and tanker renting groups will make more profits in the coming months.

Good investment potential in concerned railroads and tankers.

SJC

The President said in this speech that we will have to leave some fossil fuels in the ground to meet the carbon reduction goals. I agree.

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