Preview: Bill McKibben to Obama: Say No to Big Oil

After the State Department issued a long-awaited environmental impact statement on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline last week, environmentalists and those opposed to the 1,179-mile pipeline have intensified their push for President Obama to reject the project.

This week, Bill Moyers talks with Bill McKibben, an activist who has dedicated his life to saving the planet from environmental collapse, about his hopes that Americans will collectively pressure Obama to stand up to big oil.

“Most people understand that we’re in a serious fix,” McKibben tells Moyers, “There’s nothing you can do as individuals that will really slow down this juggernaut … You can say the same thing about the challenges faced by people in the civil rights or the abolition movement, or the gay rights movement or the women’s movement. In each case, a movement arose; if we can build a movement, then we have a chance.”

McKibben is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign and the Schumann Distinguished Professor in Residence at Middlebury College in Vermont. He has written a dozen books about the environment, including his first, The End of Nature, published 25 years ago, and his most recent, Oil and Honey.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company. Watch the full show »

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  • Jen Scarlott

    This will be a must-watch interview. Thank you, Bill M, for interviewing Bill M on the Keystone pipeline, a critical issue to the future of planet Earth. See for information and to join actions against Keystone and the tar sands.

  • gailpadgett

    “…if we can build a movement, then we have a chance.” Now is the time to hold our movement tightly together in the face of possible approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. None of us likes losing, especially not younger people with less experience with the feel of two steps forward, one back. I want us to win on this, but if we do not, I want our movement to keep growing energetically. Help us get our options covered, Bill and Bill. TY!

  • Angela

    Obama is horrible on oil–he won’t say no. More drilling now than ever.

  • Joan Harris

    If the President doesn’t approve the Keystone XL pipeline, NAFTA may have the power to enforce the pipeline’s approval anyway. I am not condoning this but there are other considerations such as the pipeline is a much safer way than rail to move the oil from one place to another. For those who are pro union, there will be union jobs created assuring a pipeline that is built to industry standards. One of the negatives is the eminent domain law which takes away the rights of landowners to protect their land from being taken by the oil industry. How on earth could this be resolved to the satisfaction of everyone?

  • Jim Bush

    Building the Keystone XL is environmental suicide! Obama has children who will live in the future this generation creates. I pray for their sake, Obama will stop this disaster-in-the-making!

  • Activists Diary

    I volunteer with Sierra Club in a local chapter, and was just having this discussion yet again with someone today. Most people I know are of the “we should do what the Tea Party did and change the Dems from the inside.” I can subscribe to that, except that it should have been done 10 years ago, and it’s too late now, to my of thinking. I would another 2 elections cycles at least, to do this well, I think…I am with you. I really don’t know what I”ll do if Bernie Sanders doesn’t run – probably will vote Green…Tired of being used and abused by Dems – I do know that.

  • Activists Diary

    Here’s an aspect of this that I don’t see too many talking about: I maintain that not only is it environmental suicide as Jim below says, but political suicide for the Dem Party as well if Obama rejects KXL:
    It is younger people – in large part – driving the climate disruption/KXL movement. It is younger voters who worked for Obama in droves in 2008 & less so, but still, in 2012. Will they be loyal to a party that so obviously used them to get their candidates elected, then disses them as a big part of their progressive base?

    My prediction is that younger environmentalists & those like me – who are tired of being used and abused by an entire party that thinks we are forced to vote for them because the alternative is so much more objectionable – will turn away from the Dem Party.

    They are in a for a rude awakening.