President Obama said the Keystone XL oil pipeline will not create jobs, will increase gas prices, and bad climate change.

“Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true,” Obama said in a New York Times interview published Saturday.

Obama, in some of his most extensive remarks ever on the pipeline, also said
Canada could “potentially be doing more” to curb emissions from the oil
sands.

His comments follow his closely watched late June pledge
that Keystone XL would only receive a federal permit if the “net”
effects of the pipeline would not “significantly exacerbate” carbon
pollution.
Obama reiterated that threshold in the newly published interview and said that would be the basis for his decision.

“I meant what I said; I'm going to evaluate this based on whether or not
this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere.
And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could
potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release,” he said.

Nonetheless, in the July 24 interview published Saturday, Obama took time to
criticize several pro-Keystone arguments about economic benefits of
TransCanada Corp.’s proposed project, which would bring oil from
Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.

“[M]y hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the
time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create
maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline – which might
take a year or two – and then after that we’re talking about somewhere
between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working
people,” Obama said, according to a Times transcript.

He questioned the project’s benefit in other ways too as the State
Department review continues. While State is leading the federal review,
the final decision is expected to come from the West Wing.

“So what we also know is, is that that oil is going to be piped down to the
Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets, so it does not bring down gas
prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some
gas prices in the Midwest to go up where currently they can’t ship some
of that oil to world markets,” Obama said.

Pipeline backers say export claims have been exaggerated. And, they say, exporting some
products refined in the U.S. with oil from Keystone would still be
economically helpful anyway.

Obama, in the interview, also offered some praise for Keystone, noting, “there is a potential benefit
for us integrating further with a reliable ally to the north our energy
supplies.”

His emissions test for approving Keystone has prompted
intense speculation about whether more aggressive environmental efforts
by Canadian regulators and oil companies could help ensure the pipeline
clears Obama's bar.

Asked if stronger steps by Canada to curb
emissions from energy-intensive oil sands projects could “mitigate”
concerns about Keystone, Obama largely demurred.

“We haven't seen specific ideas or plans. But all of that will go into the mix in terms
of [Secretary of State] John Kerry’s decision or recommendation on this
issue,” he said.

A draft State Department report in March heartened pipeline supporters by concluding that approving or rejecting Keystone would have little effect on the rate of expansion of
carbon-intensive oil sands production.

But environmental groups are strongly challenging the finding, and the Environmental Protection Agency, in an April letter to the State Department, urged a more in-depth analysis.

Obama's comments arrive amid a ferocious political and lobbying battle over Keystone.

Obama, meeting behind closed doors with lawmakers in March, said that the
project would not create as many jobs as backers say, according to
members who were present.

But his public comments in the Times interview on jobs and other remarks will likely hearten opponents of the project and provide them fresh political ammunition.

350.org, a climate change advocacy group battling the pipeline, quickly
disseminated Obama’s comments on Twitter Saturday evening.
Mike Hudema of Greenpeace, citing Obama's reiteration of his climate test
for Keystone, said over the social media service that “I like these tea
leaves.”

thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/313899-obama-criticizes-pr

Added:

By: moosemyfrnds (1160.00)

Tags: President Obama said the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Obama, create jobs, gas prices, climate change.

Location: Washington, United States

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