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Truth Squad: Did Obama kill Keystone pipeline project?

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 3:03 AM EST, Wed November 23, 2011

Editor's note: Part of the CNN Republican debate fact-checking series

(CNN) -- The potential danger posed by a nuclear Iran came up repeatedly at Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Washington.

The way energy independence plays into the United States' relations with Iran was raised by Michele Bachmann as she joined the discussion.

The statement: "And energy independence is something that President Obama certainly has avoided. ... almost every decision that the president has made since he came in has been one to put the United States in a position of unilateral disarmament, including the most recent decision he made to cancel the Keystone Pipeline.

"That would have not only created jobs but it would have helped us in energy independence."

The facts:

On November 10, the Obama administration said it would delay a decision on the Keystone oil sands pipeline expansion until 2013.

The State Department said it needs more time to study the pipeline, which would be routed through Nebraska's Sand Hills region and over the Ogallala Aquifer. The pipeline has been opposed by environmental groups, who fear the pipeline not only risks spills but also would lock the United States into dependency on oil sands, a particularly dirty form of oil.

Pipeline supporters, including many in the business community, the construction trades and nearly everyone in the oil industry, said the United States could use the 700,000 barrels a day the pipeline would carry. House Speaker John Boehner said the delay cost more than 20,000 new jobs.

The verdict: Misleading. Obama did not cancel the pipeline, but the delay means workers will not be hired for the pipeline and oil will not be available from it.

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