Kerry says "no" to Keystone XL
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November 06, 2015
Kerry says "no" to Keystone XL

Without specifying how the decision will in fact allow the U.S. to “continue leading the world in combating climate change,” Secretary of State John Kerry announced that he has determined that the nation’s national interest would be best served by denying TransCanada’s application for a Presidential Permit to extend its proposed Keystone XL pipeline into the U.S.

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The announcement comes just two days after the State Department said it would not comply with TransCanada’s request that the Department pause it its review of the application to construct the project in the U.S.

The denial appears to terminate years of intense lobbying to either approve or reject the project, a 1,179-mile 36-inch-diameter crude oil pipeline that would have carried up to 830,000 barrels a day of a particularly heavy form of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska.

Negligible impact on security

While noting that, above all, approval of the project would have undermined the ability of the U.S. to set a global example on controlling GHGs, Kerry said he also based the decision on five “key” findings:

  • The proposed project has a negligible impact on U.S. energy security.
  • The proposed project would not lead to lower gas prices for American consumers.
  • The proposed project’s long-term contribution to the U.S. 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 our country of a particularly dirty source of fuel.

The importance in the U.S. of prioritizing development of renewable energy opportunities and finding ways to create jobs in the clean energy sectors also factored in to the decision, said Kerry.

Arguments “overstated”

Kerry added that the public arguments for and against the pipeline have been overstated. Specifically, he notes that Keystone would neither be the economic driver and job generator that advocates have said it would be nor would denial of the project significantly impact the level of crude extraction or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the U.S.

Before issuing his statement, Kerry said he consulted with Canada’s Foreign Minister and expressed confidence that “our longstanding relationship with Canada will continue to grow stronger in the years ahead.” The Secretary added that he recognized the importance of the project to Canada.

Kerry’s statement can be accessed here.

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