RPT-Rivals read what they want in Obama Keystone remarks
By Roberta Rampton
WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) - When President Barack Obama weighed in on the Keystone XL pipeline controversy on Tuesday, his comments became a kind of Rorschach inkblot test for rival lobbies, reflecting their wishes for the fate of the long-delayed project.
The pipeline, designed to carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Canadian oil sands and the Bakken shale in North Dakota and Montana south to Texas refineries, was first proposed in 2008, but approval has been delayed several times due to a groundswell of criticism.
For months, the White House has been loathe to comment on the pipeline, which is still wending its way through a State Department study process.
Environmental critics argue that extracting crude from the oil sands in Northern Alberta produces an excessive amount of carbon pollution. Obama's political critics - business groups and Republicans - have urged him to approve Keystone because of the oil and construction jobs the pipeline will bring.
On Tuesday, Obama laid down his standard for approving the project, a surprise inclusion in a wide-ranging speech at Georgetown University about his plan for limiting carbon emissions responsible for climate change.
"Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution," he said.
"The net effects of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. It's relevant." Continued...