Obama says he is rejecting the controversial Keystone oil pipeline

President Obama announced Friday that he is rejecting the controversial Keystone pipeline project because it wouldn’t serve U.S. interests, dismissing its potential economic benefits as insignificant in the long run as he sought to close a long-running chapter in the political fight over global warming.

“For years, the Keystone pipeline has occupied what I frankly consider an overinflated role in our political discourse,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “It became a symbol too often used as a campaign cudgel by both parties rather than a serious policy matter.”

The pipeline began as a project nearly a decade ago to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries, as a shortcut to bring it to market more quickly. But it grew over time into a political symbol: for opponents, of energy interests run amok, and for backers, of the zealous overreach of environmental advocates.

Opponents long warned about the negative effects of tar sands oil mining on wildlife and people. Construction of the pipeline would lock the U.S. into dependence on an oil that is destructive and hard to extract, advocates said.

Read the entire article at LAtimes.com