Now that the Oscars are over, Hollywood is turning its attention to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
A slate of actors and musicians, including Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Robert Redford, Willie Nelson, and Neil Young called on President Obama on Tuesday to put an end to the oil-sands project once and for all.
“Rejecting Keystone XL is the kind of the principled choice leaders need to make. There is no way to reconcile this pipeline with a serious climate policy,” the high-profile activists wrote in a letter to the White House signed by more than 100 environmentalists, elected officials, and progressive leaders.
The cadre of celebrities has a history of opposing the pipeline. But the latest Hollywood push arrives ahead of an expected presidential veto of legislation approved by the GOP Congress to build Keystone XL, a pipeline that would haul crude oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Obama’s veto could land as early as Tuesday, after Republicans send the bill to the White House.
The president faces tremendous pressure to reject the pipeline from environmentalists. But Obama is sure to infuriate a key Democratic constituency no matter what decision he makes, since labor unions have long pushed for construction of the pipeline.
Republicans on the Hill strongly support building the pipeline, saying that it would create jobs and provide an economic boost while cutting reliance on foreign oil from hostile nations.
Others who signed the letter include Bill McKibben, the founder of the environmental group 350.org, Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Rhode Island Democrat and self-described climate hawk.
Republicans, however, have vowed to continue the fight despite Obama’s veto. Congressional GOP leaders have said that they will look to attach Keystone to future energy legislation or must-pass spending measures that the president would be hard-pressed to reject.
What We're Following See More »
"US President Donald Trump will visit the UK in mid-July, according to Sky sources," with a formal announcement expected soon. "Mr Trump was due to open the new US Embassy in London in February but cancelled the trip saying the building was too expensive and tweeting that he was not a 'big fan' of the decision to move its location."
"North Korea’s underground nuclear test site has become unusable after a large part of it collapsed," say experts from the University of Science and Technology of China. "Their evidence comes just one week after a surprise announcement from leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea would stop nuclear tests." The finding contradicts the Trump Administration's claim that the closure was a major concession by North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, who is set to meet with him for talks with President Trump in May.
"Republicans on Wednesday will begin a push to change Senate rules in a way that would allow the faster confirmation of President Trump's nominees, after months of complaints that Democrats are dragging out the process. The Senate Rules Committee will meet in the afternoon to consider a resolution that would reduce post-cloture debate for most Executive Branch nominees from 30 hours to just 8 hours. The goal is to prevent Democrats from stretching out debate over several days."
Arizona Republican Debbie Lesko won a special election to fill the deep red seat Trent Franks retired from earlier this year. Unofficial balloting had her up 52.9% to 47.2%. This victory is a bit close for comfort, considering Donald Trump's 21-point victory there in 2016. This victory will do very little to calm GOP nerves five months before Election Day.
Apple CEO Tim Cook will meet with President Trump today, "at a time of heightened trade tensions between the U.S. and China with technology caught up in the spat. Both countries have proposed import tariffs on each others' products, but the U.S. has been tough on Chinese technology firms." China is an important market for Apple, and Cook is expected to bring up the worsening trade relationship.