Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline plan

Amy Scott Jan 19, 2012

Adriene Hill: President Obama’s has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried Canadian oil here. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the president yesterday he’s “profoundly disappointed,” and Canada will find someone else to do business with.

Marketplace’s Amy Scott is here for more. Good morning Amy.

Amy Scott: Good morning.

Hill: So putting aside the domestic politics, it looked like the president’s decision angered Canada. What’s the global economic impact gonna be?

Scott: Canada sells us about 97 percent of its energy exports to the U.S., so this decision could speed up its efforts to diversify — for example, into the Asian market.

You know, it’s tough to put aside politics entirely. Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accused the president of driving Canada into the arms of China. Now, Canada says it needs a pipeline to accomodate growing oil sands production.

But Michael Levi with the Council on Foreign Relations even without this pipeline, there’s nothing stopping Canadian oil from coming into the U.S. in other ways.

Michael Levi: There are plenty of pipelines that already bring oil from the oil sands across the border into the United States. And there will also be oil moved by truck and by rail.

It’s just that those methods are more prone to spills.

Hill: But this isn’t the end of this conversation, right?

Scott: Right. TransCanada — the company that wants to build the pipeline — has said it will submit a new application for an alternative route that avoids a stretch through an environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska. And if that’s approved, the company says it could be up and running by 2014.

Hill: Marketplace’s Amy Scott. Thanks.

Scott: You’re welcome.

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