Keystone XL Pipeline: What you need to know

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Just minutes after the Obama administration publicly rejected plans to allow an expansion of the Keystone pipeline through several Midwest states, the decision was met with both criticism and praise by 2016 presidential hopefuls.

What is the Pipeline?

The Keystone XL Pipeline, which has faced scrutiny from environmental groups for several years, would create a 1,179 mile crude oil distribution system from Canada to Nebraska.

A map of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline

What the Obama administration said

The White House released a final decision on Friday to block the pipeline in what’s described as an effort to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.

Secretary of State John Kerry released the following statement:

“The critical factor in my determination was this: moving forward with this project would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combating climate change.”

What it means in the race for the White House

The decision to block the pipeline was met with both support and rebuttals almost instantly.

A victory for environmental groups, a loss for the energy industry

The pipeline was widely opposed by several environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and 350.org, which considered the Keystone XL Pipeline as a step backwards for climate change and would only encourage consumers to continue to rely on fossil fuels.

Supporters of the Keystone deal believed the project would create thousands of jobs and allow for a more stable way to transport oil between Canada and the Gulf Coast of the United States.

Representatives of communities which would have likely seen an economic boost from the pipeline are sharing their disappointed with the decision.

“I would say that I’m surprised, but with President Obama’s commitment to appeasing the far-left environmental wing of his political base, today’s decision is par for the course,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). Read his full statement here.

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