Keystone and Spin

The Obama Administration just shot down the proposed extension of the giant Canadian-US pipeline called Keystone XL.  This is largely a symbolic measure, since the deadline was set arbitrarily by Republicans in an effort to make political gains and Obama has said they can refile the permit application again next year.

What is interesting is looking at the lies told about this project and why the Republicans, especially the political candidates for president, think they will stand.

The first big lie is that Keystone XL will create lots of jobs.  Gingrich parrots recent oil industry numbers of 20,000 jobs.  House speaker Boehner is claiming 100,000 jobs.  Turns out when TransCanada submitted their original application for the project in 2008 they estimated “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” in temporary jobs building the pipeline.   [It is worth noting that nuclear power, which is the most capital intensive way to produce electricity is often "sold" on the grounds that it creates jobs]

The second lie is that Keystone XL will help US energy independence.  Again TransCanada has said that most if not all the oil thru this pipeline will go to China.  It is actually too dirty, the original source being tar sands, to be sold in the US.

The third lie is that this will help the US economy by delivering cheap oil.  In fact, according to a surprising article in Fox News, this pipeline will actually likely increase oil prices by permitting Canadians to transport their oil currently stranded in the mid west back to Canada more cheaply.

We are not surprised the Republicans are lying to benefit big business.  We are not terribly surprised that they are being stupid and bumbling their political capital (see this excellent article in the Red, Green and Blue blog on GOP Keystone Follies).

i am surprised that Fox News seems to hiring liberals to report the news.  But i have to wonder if the rest of the mainstream will give the Republicans a pass on all the lies needed to make this project sound reasonable.