The Keystone XL pipeline is officially no more! See what Obama has to say about it.
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Natural Resources Defense Council

"The Keystone National Pipeline would not serve the interests of the United States."

That's how President Obama announced his official rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline on Nov. 6, 2015 (at the recommendation of Secretary of State John Kerry).

"The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy," President Obama said in a press conference announcing the decision.



The Keystone XL pipeline project has been a source of contention for more than a decade.

Originally commissioned by the TransCanada Corp. back in 2005, the multi-phase Keystone XL project was to run 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico, connecting oil refineries across the continent.

While those in favor of the pipeline said it would lower gas prices, increase production, and create new jobs, those opposed argued against the potential environmental threats caused by oil leaks, as well as an increase in carbon emissions from the tar sands.

Obama insisted that the rejection of the Keystone XL proposal was a nonpartisan issue that fell right in the center.

Simply put, the overall risk and reward would not be in the best interest of the nation. "For years, the Keystone pipeline has occupied an overinflated role in our political discourse," he said.

"This pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others. [...] While our politics have been consumed with whether this pipeline would increase jobs and lower gas prices, we have increased jobs and lowered gas prices."


President Obama also reminded the gathered press that "America is leading on climate change."

Not "is going to." IS!

"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 leadership," the president said.

He also proudly proclaimed some of the nation's remarkable accomplishments in renewable energy ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December, including:




The end of the Keystone question is a major victory — for the country and the planet. But it's not the end of our problems.


While the pipeline has been rejected, there's still the upcoming Paris Climate Change Conference, where the world's leaders will converge to come up with a binding agreement to address our environmental issues.

The United States might be a current leader in addressing these problems, but we still need to rally the rest of the world to work with us or it's all for naught.

President Obama deserves our thanks for stopping the Keystone XL pipeline — now let's just hope our winning streak continues.

Watch President Obama's full statement below.


When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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