Thank you, Mr. President

I’m sure there will be a lot of criticism against the President and Secretary of State for deciding against the Keystone Pipeline, but I’m among those who applaud his decision (included after the jump). I hope that our political climate will change so that we can constructively address the many issues facing our planetary climate … because I believe with the Psalmist that “the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains.” I hope we will hear more about clean and renewable energy in the future as well.
Thanks also to all who participated in protests against the pipeline, especially those who were arrested. Those of us who couldn’t participate are grateful to you!

Office of the Press Secretary
January 18, 2012
Statement by the President on the Keystone XL Pipeline
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my Administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security –including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico – even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.