Today in a White House press conference President Obama officially rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. After years of delay, the company behind the project appealed to the State Department earlier this week to suspend their application after they feared rejection was imminent.
It seems the company was planning to wait out the 2016 elections in hopes a GOP president would approve the project. In the meantime, the company was planning go back to Nebraska and embrace a state review process it had previously stonewalled.
Environmentalists have been protesting the project for years over its potential to accelerate climate change and the destruction of Boreal forest in Alberta, but perhaps most fatal was its public blunder of thwarting property rights in the nation’s breadbasket.
The President said the State Department concluded that the pipeline “would not serve the national interest of the United States,” nor would it “make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy.” He said we should instead pass a major infrastructure bill that could create “30 times as many jobs and would benefit our economy for decades to come.” Reports have revealed that the project would have only created 35 permanent jobs. The President also said it would not lower gas prices, and pointed to the fact that gas prices have already been falling all over the country.
Obama concluded his case by saying that this “would not increase our energy security,” instead, he said what has been successful is our strategy to reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels from unstable parts of the world. “Three years ago I set a goal to reduce cut our oil imports in half by 2020. Between producing more at home, using less oil throughout our economy, we met that goal last year, five years early,” he said. He noted that we will continue to rely on fossil fuels as we transition to a clean energy economy, but that America must take the lead. Today domestic energy is booming and “we have cut our total carbon pollution more than any country on Earth.”