Obama to TransCanada: No pipeline if greenhouse emissions go up

US President Barack Obama does not want TransCanada’s (TSX,NYSE:TRP) proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline if it causes greenhouse gas emissions to climb, he said in a speech on his climate change plan at Georgetown University, according to media reports.

"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," said Obama, as quoted by CBC.

The pipeline, which would carry crude bitumen from Alberta's oil sands to Steele City, Nebraska, cannot advance without executive approval.

The White House has already rejected the project once, forcing the Canadian company to re-route the pipeline to bypass Nebraska's Sand Hills region and reapply.

The executive announcement comes after State Department officials issued a draft report in April which studied the project's potential greenhouse emissions. The report found that emissions would be minimal, but the Environmental Protection Agency has questioned these findings.

Although Obama has not made many public comments on the project, he has noted in the past that he believes the expected benefits are exaggerated.

Creative Commons image by Ray Bodden