Obama: Keystone pipeline helps Canadian oil companies, offers little benefit to US consumers

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama downplayed the benefits of building the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada. He said it would not lower gasoline prices and argued more jobs would be created by repairing America's infrastructure.

He said the pipeline would mainly benefit Canadian oil companies that need to get Canadian oil to the Gulf of Mexico.

He said the pipeline is "not even a nominal benefit for U.S. consumers."

Obama spoke Friday during his year-end news conference, shortly before he was leaving the White House for a Hawaii vacation.

Obama has resisted efforts by Republicans to authorize the pipeline's construction. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said it would be the first bill taken up in the new GOP-controlled Senate.

Environmentalists have made opposition to its approval a priority.

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