President Barack Obama has taken some serious strides in the last couple of months, not the least of which include becoming a global proponent of fighting the damaging effects of climate change and advocating clean energy. On Friday Obama announced that, following a seven year review, the State Department has rejected plans for the Keystone XL pipeline.
As the Huffington Post reports, TransCanada applied for a permit in 2008 to complete the 1,600-mile project that would have been used to transport crude oil and would have cost $7 billion to complete. Obama faced push back by critics who cited its detriment to the environment, while Congress advocated for its approval for its job creation and economic benefits. He added that the pipeline had taken on an "over-inflated role" in political discourse.
Both points were spoken to in Friday's address, and Obama delivered his announcement alongside Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, who oversaw the investigation and ultimately decided it wouldn't be in the country's best interest.
"First the pipeline would not make a meaningful long term contribution to our economy," said Obama. "So if Congress is serious about wanting to create jobs, this was not the way to do it." In fact the U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October, dropping the unemployment rate to nearly 5 percent, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from NPR.
President Obama also addressed his administration's ongoing efforts to push toward clean energy and energy efficiency. "America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change, and frankly approving this project would have undercut that global leadership," he said.
Watch the full address above.