AP Reporter: Obama's 'Very Odd' Decision To Reject Keystone Is More About Legacy Than Logic

November 8, 2015

Associated Press reporter Julie Pace called President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline "very odd" on Fox News Sunday, suggesting he made the decision with his legacy in mind, not based on the merits of the project itself.

"It's very odd. It's not like we're making a choice between using this oil or another alternative choice of energy," Pace said.

Keystone has proven to be a controversial issue for the administration, pitting labor unions against environmentalists, who argue it will contribute to climate change. Advocates for the project have argued the pipeline is a far safer method of transporting the oil from Canada to the Gulf.

"One way or another, this oil will get moved out of the tar sands in Canada, whether it's to China, whether it's by rail or truck here in the United States, and we'll probably end up with a larger carbon footprint," host Chris Wallace said.

The decision to reject the pipeline comes after TransCanada requested to pause the review, potentially in hopes that the next administration would be friendlier to the project. The State Department rejected that request, allowing Obama to make his statement beside Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry Friday morning from the White House.

"I think that he's actually looking beyond the specifics of what the pipeline would do in either case and looking at this more as part of legacy," Pace said.

"When you bring up that point, it's going to end up probably having more of an impact on carbon emissions. Their answer?" Wallace asked.

"They don’t really have a great answer on this," Pace said. "They go back to this basic idea that simply approving the pipeline would have been out of step with the larger message of the president on climate."