President Obama said the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline would not be a major job creator and could increase gasoline prices, but added that the White House decision will rest on climate change.
“Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true,” Obama said in a New York Times interview published Saturday.
Obama, in some of his most extensive remarks ever on the pipeline, also said Canada could “potentially be doing more” to curb emissions from the oil sands.
His comments follow his closely watched late June pledge that Keystone XL would only receive a federal permit if the “net” effects of the pipeline would not “significantly exacerbate” carbon pollution.
Obama reiterated that threshold in the newly published interview and said that would be the basis for his decision.
“I meant what I said; I’m going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere. And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release,” he said.