The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Obama Tells Colbert: Keystone XL Could Be 'Disastrous'
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
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Vice President Mike Pence sparked outrage on social media Saturday when he traveled in the first-ever motorcade to drive down the streets of Michigan's car-free Mackinac Island, HuffPost reported.
By Shawn Radcliffe
- As illnesses and deaths linked to vaping continue to rise, health officials urge people to stop using e-cigarettes.
- Officials report 8 deaths have been linked to lung illnesses related to vaping.
- Vitamin E acetate is one compound officials are investigating as a potential cause for the outbreak.
By Julia Conley
As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world — making it the biggest climate protest ever — they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.