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Did Obama just promise to kill the Keystone XL pipeline?

Obama at Georgetown: Climate Action Plan unveiled, Keystone XL pipeline plan threatened.

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US President Barack Obama rolled up his sleeves and wiped his brow, which is press-conference-speak for "I've thought long and hard about this." It's also universal for "D.C. summers are hot".

Speaking to a crowd gathered at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Obama unveiled his administration's Climate Action Plan. There wasn't just a message for American college students, though: there was also something in there for TransCanada and Stephen Harper.

While this speech does not constitute a final "No" on the Keystone XL pipeline project, Harper is probably sweating more than Obama is right now.

Obama told the crowd and the cameras, "Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward."

Obama also said, "We can't drill our way out of the energy and climate challenges that we face."

Greenpeace was quick to respond to what it called "a bold and monumental speech":

Within this frame, it's clear there's no room in our future for the Keystone pipeline, fracking, Arctic drilling, or giving away our public lands to the coal industry. Each of these projects will have a significant negative climate impact and not be in our national interest.

While the Climate Action Plan does not include the Keystone XL pipeline, it also does not mention fracking, offshore drilling, or carbon markets.

Obama's announcement left some room for interpretation. Paul Wells from Macleans took it as an ominous sign for Keystone XL that Obama was using "tar sands" rather than the industry's preferred term, "oil sands". Forbes magazine, meanwhile, ran the headline "Obama declares Keystone will be approved" , since he didn't overtly say he would reject it.  

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