Sanders: Obama should reject Keystone before Paris climate talks

Sanders: Obama should reject Keystone before Paris climate talks

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Biden on Univision: Deporting 3 million 'was a big mistake' MORE (I-Vt.), a 2016 presidential contender, is pushing the White House to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline immediately to strengthen the U.S. hand going into the upcoming Paris climate talks.

“We need aggressive action in every way,” Sanders said at a Wednesday press conference.

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“I would hope very much that President Obama will stand up as soon as possible and say that the Keystone pipeline is a no-brainer, that you do not extract and transport some of the dirtiest fuel on Earth, end of discussion.”

Sanders has long opposed the Keystone project and has promised to reject it if he wins the Democratic nomination and next year’s presidential election. Other leading Democratic candidates, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, also oppose Keystone. 

But the immediate fate of the project is in Obama’s hands.

TransCanada, the company looking to develop the pipeline, this week asked for an extension of the federal review into the project. The State Department rejected the call on Wednesday, leading green groups and pipeline opponents to revive their push for Obama to spike the pipeline.

The Paris talks, which start later this month, are designed to secure an international deal to reduce carbon emissions and confront climate change. 

Keystone opponents have said the pipeline will contribute to climate change by encouraging the drilling and transportation of oil from Alberta’s tar sands region. 

The White House has said Obama will rule on the pipeline project before the end of his term in 2017. He has said he will consider its impact on global warming as part of his decision.