President Obama has announced that he will reject an application for the completion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline after years of consideration.
“The pipeline would not have made a serious impact on… the American people’s prospects for the future,” Obama said, speaking from the White House along with Secretary of State John Kerry.
The decision comes as Obama seeks to position himself as a champion of the environment, and play a leadership role at the Paris climate conference.
However, Obama expressed a frustration about what he described as the “over-inflated” symbolism of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The policy would have been “neither a silver bullet” nor “the express lane to climate disaster,” he said.
Ultimately, the project’s symbolism played a key role in the decision to reject it.
A senior State Department official said Friday that approving the pipeline would have been viewed internationally as inconsistent with US policy and efforts to combat climate change.