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Obama links Keystone approval to carbon emissions

Watch above: Obama comments on Keystone pipeline approval (June 25)

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama says TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline should only be approved by U.S. authorities if it won’t lead to a net increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama made the statement today as he unveiled a national plan to combat climate change.

He weighed in on Keystone despite suggestions he would steer clear of the controversial project, which is in the midst of a State Department review.

Obama says ensuring the project doesn’t significantly increase emissions is “absolutely critical” to determine whether it will go ahead.

He says the project needs to be in the national interest of the United States in order to win approval.

Keystone XL has become a flashpoint for U.S. environmentalists, who have branded it a symbol of  “dirty oil” amid a fierce public relations battle against the project.

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