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  5. President Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline proposal

President Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline proposal

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President Barack Obama announced Friday morning that he is rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline proposal.

The president, citing concerns about the impact on the environment and a political climate that overly-hyped the pipeline’s benefit, said the effort “would not serve the interests of the United States.”

“While our politics have been consumed with whether this pipeline would increase jobs and lower gas prices, we have increased jobs and lowered gas prices,” Obama said.

WATCH: State Department rejects delay for Keystone permit review

The pipeline would transport oil from heavy tar sands in Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast. The 875-mile northern portion has been projected to cost an estimated $8 billion to build and has faced serious contention from the likes of environmentalists, Democrats and landowners in its path.

In February, President Obama vetoed a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the proposal attempted “to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.”

Obama previously said the bill conflicted with executive processes as he was waiting for a second report from the State Department to assess the pipeline’s suggested economic and environmental impact. Obama has said that the choice to build the Keystone XL Pipeline falls to the executive branch due to its traversal of international borders.

In March, the Senate attempted to override Obama’s veto but fell just short of the necessary 67 votes. At the time, former Speaker of the House John Boehner called the failure of the bill a “national embarrassment.”

The Keystone pipeline has been a sensitive topic for the Obama administration. Speaking at the Glacier Conference in August, Obama emphasized the urgency of climate change.

“We are not moving fast enough. None of the nations represented here are moving fast enough.” But environmentalists have critiqued the president as being hypocritical in this view,” Obama said.

But ultimately, Obama’s decision on the pipeline won’t affect the export of oil from Canada. The pipeline would simply increase the distance of the already existing Keystone Pipeline, increasing the amount of barrels per day to 830,000.

A 2014 report from the State Department determined that the pipeline would contribute to climate change, but no more so than any other alternative options for transporting the oil. The State Department report found that the contribution to climate change would be better with the pipeline than with the rail or tanker options.

The report also found, however, that significant economic growth would result, including 42,100 jobs and $3.4 billion or approximately 0.2% of the U.S. GDP.
By Halimah Abdullah and Lauren Chadwick
This is a breaking news story. Please refresh for updates. This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.

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