Daryl Hannah to Obama on climate: Actions louder than words

Bill Plante: Welcome to Face to Face. I'm Bill Plante and today we're with actress and activist Daryl Hannah. Why are you here today?

Daryl Hannah: Well there's going to be a civil disobedience action. The Sierra Club, for its first time in its 120 year history is also participating as well as a lot of other notable leaders from the non-governmental organizations and people who are affected by extreme extraction processes and -

Bill Plante: So the protest is against the pipeline?

Daryl Hannah: The protest is against the Keystone Pipeline specifically, against extreme extraction practices in particular and because the global climate crisis has become so urgent and such a horrible situation that we have an obligation to take action.

Bill Plante: The President talked about this last night in his State of the Union message. Did he convince you that he means business?

Daryl Hannah: You know, actions speak louder than words and that's why one of the first things he can do, which he has the authority to do, is to reject this Keystone Pipeline. And that is probably the first and most impactful step he could take in order to be - to actually let his actions stand up to his words.

Bill Plante: So do you think he will?

Daryl Hannah: I don't think that he's ever had the intention of not approving the Keystone Pipeline, but you know the fossil fuel industry has a lot of sway with politicians, you know, these days with the Citizens United ruling and the amount of money they're able to funnel into these politicians and their campaigns. So I think that if the people insist upon it, he will. The fact is, this Keystone Pipeline has nothing to do with energy security. It's an export pipeline. This company from Canada is planning to use our country as a means to get their product to export, because the Canadians won't let it get to their ports. So it's been sort of sold to us in a deceptive way and it's really important that we do the research and understand that it really is a very, very dangerous and lethal project.

Bill Plante: Now you know that you're going to be at a conference with Former President Clinton in a couple of months. And he has embraced the Pipeline, said that the U.S. should embrace it. What are you going to say to him when you see him there?

Daryl Hannah: I'll say the same thing that I'm going to say today which is - the thing is that this pipeline, not only does it bring the dirtiest and most energy intensive type of extreme extraction fuel through our most precious water, aquafors and soil and ranching and farming lands in this country just to be able to get it to export so they can sell their product, but it also will open the doors to expansion of the tar sands. Now the tar sands projects are incredibly destructive. They absolutely decimate ecosystems, they decimate the water, the soil, the land, and they are a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet. So if we really want to do something about these storms, the floods, the droughts, the extreme weather patterns that we're experiencing and spending billions - tens of billions of dollars to, you know, help people and fix and clean up after these terrible incidents, then we need to start addressing it from the root of the problem which is our dependence on fossil fuels. We have opportunities right now to get on clean energy and to have clean energy prosperity in this country. We have all of the technologies that we need to move in that direction.

Bill Plante: You know you're likely to get arrested today.

Daryl Hannah: Uh huh.

Bill Plante: That doesn't bother you?

Daryl Hannah: See this guy? (Shows pin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,) He was arrested 30 times by the time he was 39 to right terrible wrongs, and so I think that's the spirit that which we do take that risk today.

Bill Plante: It wouldn't be the first time for you though?

Daryl Hannah: No, it would not. And specifically on the Keystone issue it will be my third time.

Bill Plante: Do you think that being a celebrity sort of overshadows what you're trying to do? Or does it help?

Daryl Hannah: It, I don't think it really matters. I think we're at the point now, in this crisis, where it's incumbent upon all of us, no matter what job we hold, no matter what profession we're in, to speak out and to take action because corporations don't have any incentive to stop their practices when they're benefitting from them. And government no longer has the means to do it because they are also financed by those corporations. So it is our moral obligation as citizens of this country and of the world to take action.

This is "Face to Face," I'm Bill Plante. See you next time.