As numerous media outlets report that the State Department is set to release its Final Environmental Impact Statement on Keystone XL today, opponents were once again exposed for failing to use the facts.
Billionaire Tom Steyer – seen by many as a leader of the anti-Keystone XL movement – was just given four Pinocchios by the Washington Post Fact Checker for an ad that he ran before and after the State of the Union address. As the Fact Checker points out, “this ad does not even meet the minimal standards for such political attack ads. It relies on speculation, not facts, to make insinuations and assertions not justified by the reality.” This isn’t the first time the media has taken issue with Tom Steyer’s misleading tactics. Remember, the New Yorker said that Steyer’s previous ads may be “good political theater” but they “lacked context” and were simply “stunts.”
This criticism of Steyer’s ad is the latest in a growing number of challenges to opponents’ efforts. Perhaps the New York Magazine critique stands out the most: it characterized opponents’ “crusade” as a “huge environmentalist mistake” and “a bizarre misallocation of political attention,” going on to add that they have “built a strategy upon what was at best a rickety factual premise.”
Against that backdrop it’s no surprise that Bloomberg is reporting, “The U.S. State Department is preparing a report that will probably disappoint environmental groups and opponents of the Keystone pipeline, according to people who have been briefed on the draft of the document.”
While anti-Keystone XL activists’ case crumbles, the case for Keystone XL pipeline has stayed consistent and strong: Keystone XL will not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions; it is environmentally sound; it will create tens of thousands of jobs; it will bring economic growth; and it will greatly increase our energy security. It could not be clearer that Keystone XL is in our national interest. That’s why an overwhelming majority of the American people, union, labor and business groups, Congressional Democrats and Republicans are telling President Obama to say yes to Keystone XL.