Justin Trudeau Responds to President Obama’s Keystone XL Pipeline Decision


President Barack Obama made a televised appearance Friday to formally reject the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial project that aimed to build a cross-border oil pipeline from Canada to Texas. This outcome for the proposal, which sparked strong opinions from both advocates and opponents, also saw newly installed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weigh in on the decision, his first major policy remark since taking office Wednesday. 

"We are disappointed by the decision but respect the right of the United States to make the decision," Trudeau said in a statement. "The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start with President Obama to strengthen our remarkable ties in a spirit of friendship and co-operation."

"We know that Canadians want a government that they can trust to protect the environment and grow the economy," he added. "The Government of Canada will work hand-in-hand with provinces, territories and like-minded countries to combat climate change, adapt to its impacts, and create the clean jobs of tomorrow."

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Despite Trudeau's remarks, as recently as September, when the Canadian prime minister was still in his candidacy, Trudeau pledged his support for the Keystone XL project, the Star reported. In early September, protesters in Fredericton, Canada, reportedly asked Trudeau to reconsider his pledge to support the pipeline. When pressed later that week to explain his stance on Energy East, an agreement between TransCanada Corp., an Calgary-based energy company, and three natural gas distributors, Trudeau deflected. "We have a process to go through," he said, according to the Star.

As for Obama's views on Keystone XL, the president didn't waver in his remarks, "The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy." 

Here's Obama's speech rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline proposal: