President Obama has indicated that he will factor environmental and human health issues into his decision about the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline is opposed by environmentalists and supported by those who say the jobs it would create are more important than the well being of the environment and the health of the American people.
On Tuesday November 1, President Obama indicated that in addition to economic concerns, health and economic issues would be taken into account when he decides whether or not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Here are excerpts of Obama’s comments from an interview with Nebraska television station KETV:
“My general attitude is, what’s best for the American people? What’s best for our economy both short term and long term? But also what’s best for the health of the American people?”
“We don’t want, for example, aquifers to be adversely affected. folks in Nebraska obviously would be directly impacted, and so we want to make sure we’re taking the long view on these issues.”
“We need to make sure that we have energy security and aren’t just relying on Middle East sources. But there’s a way of doing that and still making sure that the health and safety of the American people and folks in Nebraska are protected, and that’s how I’ll be measuring these recommendations when they come to me.”
“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 is so important to agriculture in Nebraska ends up being adversely affected.”