Huffpost Politics
Kate Sheppard Headshot

Harry Reid: 'Climate Change Is The Worst Problem Facing The World Today'

Posted: Updated:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), speaks to reporters after attending the weekly Democrat policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol. In a roundtable on Thursday, Reid called climate change the "worst problem facing the world today." (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) | Mark Wilson via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that climate change is a really big deal -- the biggest, in fact.

"Climate change is the worst problem facing the world today," said the Nevada Democrat at a roundtable with reporters.

Reid has been growing ever more assertive on climate change. Last June, he said in a speech on the Senate floor that "we have no more important issue in the world than this issue, period."

Four years ago, it was the Democrat-led Senate that effectively killed off major climate legislation. And it was Reid who delivered the bill's eulogy, remarking that he knew he just didn't have the votes to pass it.

Senators who have long advocated for more action on climate change have taken Reid's recent rhetoric as a positive sign. Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse has said Reid's climate remarks are evidence that the profile of the issue has "climbed considerably." Next Monday, a group of senators is planning to take over the Senate floor for a whole night to discuss the importance of addressing climate change.

Reid also bashed the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the approval of which is pending before President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. The pipeline would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in Texas. "To think that that pipeline would be built ... That just doesn't sound like a very good idea to me," said Reid, who has previously said he opposes the pipeline.

Reid also insinuated that Charles and David Koch, the prominent conservative funders who have made much of their money off oil, gas and chemicals, are behind the push to approve Keystone XL. While reports have argued that Koch Industries and its subsidiaries stand to benefit from the pipeline's construction, the company has said that it has "no financial stake" in the project. Reid has been on an anti-Koch kick of late, accusing the billionaire brothers of "buying America."

"Anything that's dirtying the environment, look around and they're involved in it most of the time," said Reid. "It's hard to find anything dirtier than coal. But you look around, you got tar sands -- that beats it."

HuffPost's Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.

Also on HuffPost:

15 Ways You Contribute To Climate Change
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Harry Reid On Senate GOP Inaction: 'Climate Change Is Here. We ...

Harry Reid Blames Colorado Floods on Climate Change - Breitbart

Harry Reid Blames Nevada Wildfires on Climate Change ...

Harry Reid | Economist - World News, Politics, Economics, Business ...

Harry Reid: Senate will abandon cap-and-trade energy reform ...

Reid on climate change: 'I hope we can address it' | TheHill

Harry Reid: 'Don't be afraid to talk about climate change' | TheHill

Reid blames climate change: 'West is burning' | Las Vegas Review ...

Harry Reid Remarks On Billionaire Koch Brothers' Attempt To Buy ...

Senator Harry Reid Blames Colorado Floods On 'Climate Change ...

Harry Reid: My Wife Came Up With The "Addicted To Koch" Line

House passes bill to block Obama climate plan