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    US Administration View on Keystone Pipeline Incorrect – Former US Official

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    Former US Assistant Secretary of Energy Chuck McConnell considers the controversial Keystone XL pipeline as beneficial both for the US energy security and for global stability.

    HOUSTON (Sputnik) – The stance of the current US administration on the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is wrong, former US Assistant Secretary of Energy Chuck McConnell told Sputnik.

    "There are people in this administration and people in this country that have the wrong-headed opinion that it's going to create more carbon dioxide for global climate change. And I think it's an illusion to put up in front of people, that's completely incorrect," McConnell, currently head of Rice University's Energy and Environment Initiative, said.

    In February 2015, US President Barack Obama vetoed construction of the controversial pipeline. The large-scale project was intended to connect Alberta, Canada and the US Gulf Coast.

    President Obama explained that a combination of acute environmental concerns and the circumvention of long-standing procedure by the US Congress in determining if the cross-border project serves the US national interest contributed to the cancellation.

    McConnell said that it was a "shame" that the United States was not going ahead with the project.

    He also noted that the United States and Canada have about 100 pipelines going back and forth in all kinds of commodities, and this energy interdependency is a part of the relationship between the two countries.

    "We are exploring for oil in Canada, and that oil needs to find its way to refineries, so it can be made into the kind of fuels that we all need. That oil will find its way to markets somehow, but the most efficient way for it to get to market is to come to the United States to be refined, and we should get on with that task," the former official said.

    McConnell added that the disputed project is beneficial both for the US energy security and for global stability.

    "We are being foolish right now, and we need to change," McConnell concluded.

    US lawmakers have been sharply divided on whether to construct the Keystone Pipeline, which was expected to bring an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to US refineries, according to the US Congress.

    Following Obama's veto, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner called the President's action a "national embarrassment," and vowed that Congress would not give up its efforts.

    Related:

    Climate Change Unaffected by Keystone XL - US Environmental Agency Head
    US Senate Fails to Override Obama Veto on Keystone XL Pipeline
    TransCanada ‘Fully Committed’ to Building Keystone Despite Obama Veto
    Debate About Keystone Pipeline Legislation Ongoing Despite Obama’s Veto
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    Keystone XL Pipeline, Charles McConnell, United States
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