Political

Robert Redford says GOP is 'living in the 1950's' concerning the environment

January 16, 2014. Robert Redford addresses the media at an opening day news conference for the Sundance Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah.

January 16, 2014. Robert Redford addresses the media at an opening day news conference for the Sundance Film Festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah.  (Reuters)

Robert Redford, a guest on the latest edition of Variety‘s PopPolitics on SiriusXM, says that the Republican drive to pass a bill greenlighting the Keystone pipeline “makes no sense,” attributing the GOP majority’s prioritization of the project to the influence of the oil lobby and too many lawmakers “living in the 1950s.”

He also singled out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Somebody has got to start looking at the bigger picture here and telling what the real truth is, so you don’t have people like Mitch McConnell giving you truth that is falsified,” Redford said in an interview. “He represents the polluters’ interest because he is living in the 1950s. So for me we are missing real leadership. Instead we have a guy who looks like he just slid out from under a rock trying to propose an idea that is simply not that truthful. Somebody has to get to the truth of what this is all about.”

Redford, whose environmental activism extends back to the 1950s, has been particularly vocal about the Keystone pipeline, which would ship oil extracted from the tar sands in Canada through the Midwest to the Gulf coast.

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto a bill from Congress that would greenlight the pipeline, which many environmental groups oppose, warning of the dangers of transporting the oil, as well as the message it sends on efforts to wean the country off of fossil fuels. Redford is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and appeared in one of their recent videos on the “big polluter agenda” of Congress when it comes to energy and the environment.

“When you look at the economic viability of [Keystone], which is we are putting our environment at risk to ship dirty oil, the benefits would go to another country because it is all going to be exported. It makes no sense,” says Redford, who thinks that Keystone would be transporting “the dirtiest oil on the planet that can’t be cleaned up.”

Click here to hear Redford on Variety.com