Environmentalists hail Obama climate change focus
WASHINGTON - Environmental groups are hailing President Barack Obama's warning about climate change but say they'll be watching his decision on the future of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Environmentalists say the pipeline would transport "dirty oil" from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, and produce heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming.
Obama blocked the pipeline last year, citing uncertainty over the project's route through environmentally sensitive land in Nebraska.
But Republicans and many business groups say the project would help achieve energy independence for North America and create thousands of jobs.
Obama said in his inauguration speech Monday that failure to respond to climate change "would betray our children and future generations."
Andrew Hoffman, director of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise, said Obama's focus on climate showed political backbone.
Image courtesy: Trans Canada