Obama says position on Keystone XL pipeline has not changed

Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:03am EST
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YANGON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday his position on the Keystone XL oil pipeline has not changed, as the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives prepared to vote to approve the project to transport oil from Canada to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking at a news conference in Yangon, Myanmar, alongside democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, Obama cited pending legal action in Nebraska and said it was hard to evaluate the pipeline proposal until the actual route was known.

The pipeline has been the subject of years of jousting between supporters, who tout its job-creating potential, and environmentalists, who say Canada's extraction of oil sands would increase emissions linked to climate change.

Keystone XL requires presidential approval because it crosses an international border. The White House has not made clear whether Obama would use his veto to block the bill currently before Congress, but he has threatened to veto Keystone legislation in the past.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing November 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Greg Baker