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Keystone XL project shut down by U.S. government

Stating that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interests of the United States, President Barack Obama rejected the TransCanada Corp. application on Nov. 6, effectively shutting down the controversial project.

The application for the pipeline extension was initially filed by TransCanada in 2008. One day after the cancellation announcement, the U.S. government confirmed that a new application could be submitted. The Keystone XL pipeline, the fourth phase of the Keystone Pipeline System extending through Canada and the U.S., would have stretched for more than 500 kilometres, carrying oil from Alberta to Nebraska.

A statement was issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following President Obama’s announcement: “The application for a cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project was turned down by the United States Government today. We are disappointed by the decision but respect the right of the United States to make the decision.

“The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and co-operation.

“We know that Canadians want a government that they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy. The Government of Canada will work hand-in-hand with provinces, territories and like-minded countries to combat climate change, adapt to its impacts, and create the clean jobs of tomorrow.”

Russ Girling, President and CEO of TransCanada Corp., said in a news release that the decision “deals a damaging blow to jobs, the economy and the environment on both sides of the border.”

“Numerous independent studies have consistently concluded that the safest way to transport oil is in a modern, safe pipeline. Keystone XL would help replace the higher risk trucks, trains, barges and tankers currently carrying oil to market, and would provide the U.S. with energy supply security by connecting U.S. and Canadian producers to American refineries with a pipeline running four feet under the ground,” he stated. “By dismissing the 9,000 jobs for Americans building Keystone XL as ‘only temporary’, the administration has ignored the value of infrastructure jobs and has taken away work from those who seek it. In total, some 42,000 related jobs would not be created in the U.S. value chain as a result of this decision.”

With files from the Government of Canada and TransCanada Corporation