Washington, US (BBN)-US President Barack Obama has announced he is rejecting an application to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.
Speaking from the White House, he said it would not have served the “national interests” of the US, reports BBC.
Its construction has been hotly disputed for seven years, with environmentalists saying it would do irreparable damage.
But the president said the pipeline had taken on an “overinflated role” in the climate change debate.
The proposed pipeline would have run 1,179-miles (1,897km) taking 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska.
lowered petrol prices
created long-term jobs
affected energy dependence
“The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy,” he said.
Republican presidential candidates condemned the news, with Jeb Bush calling it an attack on the US economy.
In February, the Republican-led Congress voted to begin construction immediately, but Obama vetoed the bill to await environmental reports.
The decision comes as world leaders plan to meet in Paris at the end of the month to finalise a major global climate agreement.
The agreement, which could be reached at the meeting known as the UN Climate Change Conference or COP 21, would be a major part of the president’s legacy.
While the project is dead for now, the pipeline controversy will not end any time soon.
Proponents will almost certainly challenge the decision in court and if a Republican is elected president next year, construction could yet be approved.
The pipeline also generated controversy outside of Washington, souring relations between the former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the US president.
President Obama said he had spoken to newly-elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and they agreed the issue of climate change trumped any differences of opinion over the pipeline.