Tags: obama | Keystone pipeline

Obama: Keystone Benefits for Consumers, Workers Nominal

Image: Obama: Keystone Benefits for Consumers, Workers Nominal
A depot used to store pipes for Transcanada Corp's planned Keystone XL oil pipeline is seen in Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Andrew Cullen/Reuters/Landov)

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 03:50 PM

President Obama said on Friday that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast would only nominally benefit American consumers and workers.

"There is very little impact - nominal impact - on U.S. gas prices, what the average American consumer cares about," Obama told reporters during an end-of-year press conference.

In his strongest comments on the Canada-to-U.S. pipeline to date, Obama picked apart some of the most common arguments proponents have used to urge the president to approve it: that it would create jobs, lower domestic gasoline prices and bolster the U.S. economy.

"There has been this tendency to really hype this thing as some magic formula to what ails the U.S. economy," Obama told reporters.

Construction of the pipeline would create a "couple thousand" jobs, but there are better ways to create long-term, paying jobs for American workers by investing in infrastructure, Obama added.

"When you consider what we could be doing rebuilding our roads and bridges around the country, something the Congress could authorize, we could probably create hundreds of thousands of jobs - or even a million jobs," he said.

Obama's comments come as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said his party's first act in the Republican-controlled Senate would be to pass a bill fast-tracking approval of the $8 billion project.

Obama had been widely expected to veto a November measure forcing approval of the pipeline, which would connect Canada's oil sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

A Nebraska court will soon rule on whether the state's governor had the right to push through the pipeline's route through the state, and Obama has previously questioned whether the project would do anything to lower fuel prices in the United States or simply facilitate petroleum exports.

Construction workers, unions and energy companies have vocally supported the pipeline, which would transport more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta through Nebraska en route to the Gulf.

But the project has galvanized environmentalists who say developing Canada's oil sands would spike carbon emissions linked to climate change and that much of the oil or refined products would be sold abroad.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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President Obama said on Friday that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast would only nominally benefit American consumers and workers.
obama, Keystone pipeline
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2014-50-19
Friday, 19 Dec 2014 03:50 PM
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