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Politics

Maine Delegation Weighs in on Keystone XL

WASHINGTON — After years of federal review, the Keystone XL oil pipeline has been rejected.

President Barack Obama says he made the decision because the proposed project wouldn't serve U.S. national interests and would have undercut the country's global leadership on climate change.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine says the president has done the right thing.

"The pipeline was a bad idea from the beginning," she says. "It was bad for the environment. It was bad for long-term energy policy. We've been pushing the president to reject this for over five years."

Maine Independent Senator Angus King says, ultimately, he couldn't see how it would benefit the United States.

"It was essentially a transit project and that it would, in fact, underwrite the economics of the tar sands and I just didn't think that was in the national interest," he says.

As envisioned, Keystone would snake from Canada's tar sands through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, and then connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to specialized refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

But pipeline supporters are making it clear that the fight isn't over.

"Given this project's importance to North American energy independence, the question still remains not if but when Keystone will be built," says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Obama is traveling to Paris in a few weeks to meet with world leaders at an international climate summit. During his announcement Obama said both sides of the debate had overstated their claims.