Hyperliberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz rejected the conventional left-wing wisdom this week when he embraced construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and boy is he paying for it. On Thursday, seeking to mollify his outraged liberal viewership, Schultz brought two environmental activists onto his program for a debate that seemed right out of “The Twilight Zone.”
Schultz outlined the reasons behind his support of the Keystone Pipeline — held up for five years by the Obama administration — by emphasizing American energy independence and the safety of people living near rail lines carrying crude oil. He also dismissed environmentalist arguments that the pipeline will lead to more climate-alterning emissions.
“Like it or not, oil is still the major driver of our economy,” he said, later adding, “I’m not here to debate whether or not the oil should come out of the ground. The way I see it, there’s no doubt about it. It’s gonna be comin’ out of the ground. The Canadians are gonna get it moved.”
It was a point so convincing that neither Friends of the Earth’s Erich Pica or BOLD Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb even bothered to address it, laying aside environmental arguments to attack the Keystone Pipeline with — well, whatever they thought might stick.
“[Farmers] don’t think that a foreign corporation should be able to use eminent domain on American landowners,” Kleeb said. “You might think it’s fine for a Canadian company to do that, but what about tomorrow if it’s China or Saudi Arabia or Venezuela?”
“When a train spills, it spills much less liquid than when a pipeline ruptures,” she later added. “And both are dangerous. And I will tell you, when a family experiences an oil spill they don’t think, ‘Goddamn that train,’ or ‘Goddamn that pipeline,’ they think,’My land was just destroyed, my water is now polluted.’ And so we as a country have to get serious about putting money into upgrading infrastructure, whether that’s train or pipeline.” (Uh, isn’t that the point of Keystone?)
“I believe that this is a safer mechanism, it’s proven,” Schultz responded angrily. “You say the goddamn land, I say the goddamn 47 people that lost their lives in Canada because you have got these trains going through major metropolitan areas, which is horribly dangerous and there could be a massive loss of life!”
Pica, for his part, disputed the State Department’s new report claiming that the climate and environmental impacts of the pipeline would be minimal.
“We’ve been doing some investigations into the conflicts of interest,” he claimed, “and we have discovered that the contractor [in charge of the report] lied on their form, saying that they’ve done no business with TransCanada over the past three years. That’s just patently false. And this isn’t the first time that this has occurred at the State Department.”
Schultz plays up safety concerns and his support for energy independence, but blue-collar jobs are what’s really behind his pro-Keystone push. The MSNBC host is an ardent union supporter, and many large labor unions — including the AFL-CIO — support the Keystone XL Pipeline’s construction.
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