Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Obama Tells Colbert: Keystone XL Could Be 'Disastrous'

Climate

Last night, President Obama made his much-ballyhooed appearance on Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report as the show concludes its run before Colbert moves to CBS' Late Night early next year.

In a spectacular "get" for Colbert, Obama cheerfully endured Colbert's parody of how the Republicans view him, while getting to tout his stances on immigration, the lack of action in Congress, the benefits of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and the likely non-benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline. He made some of his strongest and clearest remarks about the pipeline yet, raising hopes that he will veto it when it comes to his desk.

"The American people want it. It's going to create jobs. The State Department says it's not going to raise the pollution in the atmosphere. You're going to sign that, right?" said Colbert, parroting pipeline supporters and eliciting boos from the  studio audience.

"Obviously, these young people weren't polled," the president quipped before returning the easy pitch Colbert lobbed his way.

"Keystone is going through an evaluation process," he said. "Right now it's being held up by a court in Nebraska that's making a decision about whether the route is legal or not. In the first instance, I don't make the initial decision. The State Department evaluates it ..."

"But you're going to sign it if it comes to you?" Colbert pressed.

"I'm going to make sure that we look at this objectively," the President responded. "We've got to make sure that it's not adding to the problem of carbon and climate change. We have to examine that, and we have to weigh that against the amount of jobs that it's actually going to create, which aren't a lot. Essentially, this is Canadian oil passing through the United States to be sold on the world market. It's not going to push down gas prices here in the United States. It's good for Canada. It could create a couple of thousand jobs in the initial construction of the pipeline but we've got to measure it against whether or not it's going to contribute to an overall warming of the planet—which could be disastrous."

"These young people are going to have to live in a world where we already know temperatures are going up," he said, giving a nod to the youthful, clearly anti-pipeline audience. "And Keystone is a potential contributor to that."

His remarks should be encouraging to pipeline opponents at a time when Republicans have taken over the Senate, and new Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell had made approving Keystone XL his first priority. McConnell's remarks on the pipeline virtually dovetail with Colbert's parody: “Keystone XL is just common sense. It’s a shovel-ready jobs project that would help thousands of Americans find work. It would increase our supply of North American energy. And it would do all that with minimal net climate impact."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Obama Stands Firm on Keystone XL, Veto Likely if Passed by Congress

100+ Scientists and Economists Urge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to Reject Keystone XL

5 Reasons Senate Must Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Joe Leech

The human body comprises around 60% water.

It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

The enduring pandemic will make conventional forms of travel difficult if not impossible this summer. As a result, many will consider virtual alternatives for their vacations, including one of the oldest forms of virtual reality – books.

Read More Show Less
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Thursday accused NOAA of ignoring its own scientists' findings about the endangerment of the North Atlantic right whale. Lauren Packard / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Julia Conley

As the North Atlantic right whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of critically endangered species Thursday, environmental protection groups accusing the U.S. government of bowing to fishing and fossil fuel industry pressure to downplay the threat and failing to enact common-sense restrictions to protect the animals.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Beth Ann Mayer

Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.

Read More Show Less
Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less

Trending

People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less