Tar sands/oil sands production “is an extraordinarily dirty way of extracting oil,” United States President Barack Obama told a group of university students in South Carolina last Friday.
“Obviously,” he said, “there are always risks in piping a lot of oil through Nebraska farmland and other parts of the country.”
Obama told students at Benedict College he hadn’t yet decided whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, CBC reports. But he downplayed the project’s economic value to the U.S. and connected the decision to the heightened risk of wildfires, rising sea levels, crop losses, drought, hunger, and war due to climate change.
“This will affect you more than old people like me,” he said. “The disruptions—economic, social, security disruptions—that it can cause can make your life and the lives of your children much harder and much worse. If you don’t stop it at a certain point, you can’t stop it at all. And it could be catastrophic.”