WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama fielded questions on the Keystone XL pipeline and rail safety in a six-minute interview with WDAY anchor Kerstin Kealy broadcast Thursday night.
“Part of the reason North Dakota has done so well is that we have been very much promoting domestic, U.S. energies,” the president said in response to Kealy asking why he vetoed the Keystone bill. “I’ve already said I’m happy to look at how we can increase pipeline production for U.S. oil, but Keystone is for Canadian oil to send that down to the Gulf.
“It bypasses the United States and is estimated to create a little over 250, maybe 300 permanent jobs,” Obama continued. “We should be focusing more broadly on American infrastructure for American jobs and American producers, and that’s something that we very much support.”
In the one-on-one sit-down interview in the White House, Kealy also asked the president if rail safety, “a huge issue in our area,” was one of his priorities.
“It is,” he said. “We’ve had the Department of Transportation work very closely with both workers, with environmental groups and with the railways to start thinking, how do we upgrade transportation safety when it comes to these big rail cars with potentially hazardous cargo? I think we can do a better job on it.”
Kealy’s news crew was among just four from across the country that were invited for a day of White House briefings and a one-on-one interview with Obama.
WDAY was given only four minutes to interview the president, but Kealy said it was “stretched” into a little over six minutes.
Apart from interviewing the president, Kealy said she and a WDAY crew attended briefings on the economy, jobs, trade and the importance of exports. One topic was the Obama administration’s “Made in Rural America” initiative, which “gives people and business in areas like North Dakota and Minnesota the tools for success in our digital economy,” Kealy said.