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Obama Officially Rejects Keystone Pipeline: 'We Need to Keep Some Fossil Fuels in the Ground'

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President Barack Obama speaks on the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing his rejection of the Canada-US Keystone pipeline on November 6, 2015 in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama on Friday blocked the construction of a controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States, ending years of bitter and politically charged debate.AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama announced Friday that the administration was officially rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline extension from Canada.

"The State Department determined the Keystone pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States and I agree with that decision," Obama at the White House Friday.

President Barack Obama speaks on the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing his rejection of the Canada-U.S. Keystone pipeline Nov. 6, 2015, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Obama blocked the construction of a controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the United States, ending years of bitter and politically charged debate. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The announcement comes after a seven-year review by the State Department.

"Shipping more dirty crude oil into our country will not increase our energy security," Obama said.

While discussing the upcoming climate talks in Paris, he added, "If we want to keep this plant from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable, we need to keep some fossil fuel in the ground."

Obama also insisted the pipeline would not reduce gas prices.

Proponents of the pipeline argued that it could have created hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs directly and indirectly. Opponents in the environmental lobby expressed concern that it would harm the environment. Obama said that both prospects were overstated.

"If Congress is serious about creating jobs, this is not the way to do it," Obama said.

Congress passed a bill, which Obama vetoed in February, that would have extended the pipeline.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was not surprised by Obama's decision, but said he would not give up on pushing the pipeline.

"It’s become painfully clear that the president is more interested in appeasing deep-pocketed special interests and extremists than helping tens of thousands of Americans who could have benefited from Keystone’s good jobs," McConnell said in a statement. "Given this project’s importance to North American energy independence, the question still remains not if but when Keystone will be built. Republicans have no intention of giving up on common-sense jobs ideas like Keystone. Our nation’s long-term need for the energy and jobs Keystone would provide will certainly outlast the little over a year remaining in the term of the current Administration.”

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