Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Obama's Interview on Keystone XL Pipeline

Ted Glick

On Oct. 31, speaking about a possible permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, President Barack Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “this is a decision that will be made by the State Department.”

On Nov. 1, speaking during an interview at the White House with a reporter from Omaha, Nebraska-based TV station KETV, Obama said that he will be making the decision.

More than that, Obama gave the rhetorical back of his hand to the false argument of pipeline supporters that it's a big jobs creator. Obama said, “I think folks in Nebraska, like all across the country, aren’t going to say to themselves, ‘We’ll take a few thousand jobs if it means that our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health,' or [if] rich land that’s so important to agriculture in Nebraska [is] being adversely affected, because those create jobs, and you know when somebody gets sick that’s a cost that the society has to bear as well. So these are all things that you have to take a look at when you make these decisions.”

What has gotten into Obama? Are we seeing the reappearance of the person who campaigned in 2008 as a strong proponent of action to “end the tyranny of oil” and address climate change?

Perhaps. And it's important to note that Obama made no mention of climate change in his TV interview. But the most important takeaway from this positive development for Mother Earth and all of its life forms is this—when people get organized, when they are willing to make sacrifices for the common good, when they are able to build broad-based alliances and when they are able, as a result, to break through into the national mass media, changes that once seemed impossible all of a sudden become possible.

These are all the things that the movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline has done and accomplished over the past four months. This movement has built upon the leadership given by Indigenous people, in particular, fighting for years against the exploitation of the tar sands in Alberta, Canada.

It’s like the Occupy movement. Less than two months ago, who would have thought that the national conversation as defined by the news media would now be on the issue of the 1 percent vs. the 99 percent? But because a relatively small group of young people were willing to take risks in the heart of the Wall Street financial district in New York City, getting pepper sprayed and arrested, it’s an entirely new political world in the U.S.

This political sea change, however, is in no way a guarantee that we, the people are going to win on the pipeline issue, much less all of the other issues around which we are organizing. It's essential that the upcoming Nov. 6 surround-the-White-House action be even bigger than expected. We haven’t really won anything yet. Things are moving in the right direction, but make no mistake, Big Oil and the Chamber of Commerce, those leading representatives of the 1 percent, are going to bring every lever of pressure to bear that they can to their way.

We can’t let up for an instant.

It’s pedal to the metal time. All out to the White House on Nov. 6.

For more information or to sign up to be part of the Nov. 6 action, click here.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A protest against the name of the Washington Redskins in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Nov. 2, 2014. Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

The Washington Redskins will retire their controversial name and logo, the National Football League (NFL) team announced Monday.

Read More Show Less
The survival tools northern fish have used for millennia could be a disadvantage as environmental conditions warm and more fast-paced species move in. Istvan Banyai / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Alyssa Murdoch, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle and Sapna Sharma

Summer has finally arrived in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, liberating hundreds of thousands of northern stream fish from their wintering habitats.

Read More Show Less
A mother walks her children through a fountain on a warm summer day on July 12, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.

Read More Show Less
If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus. blackCAT / Getty Images

By Joni Sweet

If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of burnt areas of the Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho, Rondonia state, Brazil, on Aug. 24, 2019. CARLOS FABAL / AFP via Getty Images

NASA scientists say that warmer than average surface sea temperatures in the North Atlantic raise the concern for a more active hurricane season, as well as for wildfires in the Amazon thousands of miles away, according to Newsweek.

Read More Show Less
A baby receives limited treatment at a hospital in Yemen on June 27, 2020. Mohammed Hamoud / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

Oxfam International warned Thursday that up to 12,000 people could die each day by the end of the year as a result of hunger linked to the coronavirus pandemic—a daily death toll surpassing the daily mortality rate from Covid-19 itself.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The 2006 oil spill was the largest incident in Philippine history and damaged 1,600 acres of mangrove forests. Shubert Ciencia / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Jun N. Aguirre

An oil spill on July 3 threatens a mangrove forest on the Philippine island of Guimaras, an area only just recovering from the country's largest spill in 2006.

Read More Show Less