Meet the Press   |  April 06, 2014

Roundtable: The Keystone Pipeline Debate

The Meet the Press Roundtable digs in to the pros and cons of the Keystone Pipeline and whether or not they think the president will approve it.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> are we learning as we listen on the ground there and get out of the washington part of the debate? what are we learning when we hear from the communities involved?

>> clearly people want the economy to grow, jobs 0 come through. i think if i were president obama , i would adopt steele city as the new american city. i would say let's get that pipeline going. let's make sure we have everything in place to protect the environment as much as we can. and watch that little city blossom like a desert flower . wouldn't that be fun.

>> it is interesting, steve, that you know, there's different sides to this argument. they're in steele city where there's not a lot of people. they certainly depend on this. there's an economic upside. a lot of the farmers in that area see an economic downside if they don't get a good enough deal to have the pipeline come through and the environmental piece, as well that through the area where the pipeline would cross and the national resources defense council sent us this statement to make sure it was part of the debate. i'll put it on the screen. keystone xl would significantly add to carbon pollution that's driving climate change and imperil the health and drinking water of millions of americans." is the climate change aspect has to be tough for the president as i mentioned. he's not getting a significant climate change legislation through congress is why this decision is so tricky.

>> obviously it's balancing environmental concerns with some of the job concerns. my sense is the president probably will approve it. we shouldn't just focus on the energy we have today. we should focus on the energy we need tomorrow and invests in technologies and things like microgrids, some of the things around the natural gas boom have been driven by new technologies. we need renewable solutions and have to bet on the entrepreneurs to create the new technologies that do create the jobs, drives the economy, but do it in a way safe to our environment.

>> harold, you go outside of this fight in washington, you do learn something from people who are saying you know, we may be concerned about the environment but we've got a real potential upside with the economy.

>> as you know, the state department has conducted study after study after study including one after the president claimed if approving the pipeline would exacerbate carbon pollution and he would be against it. the most recent report from the state department suggests this would not exacerbate the carbon footprint . two, the economics of this are clear. in that piece, the only tension you really had was between farmers who thought they should be paid more. they probably should be. one of the things the president ought to think about is asking those up front to set aside money for potential clean-up. the concerns about disaster are real. they're thousands of miles of pipelines across this country already transporting crude. so let's understand that.