When President Obama put off giving the go-ahead to build the Keystone Pipeline until after the 2012 election, it put the liberal media in a difficult position. Just about everyone from Big Labor to congressional Republicans to the states through which the Keystone would run agrees it would create thousands of jobs, strengthen ties with Canada and reduce dependency on oil from unstable and unfriendly nations.
Obama, who has yet to embrace a jobs scheme that actually produces jobs, bowed to the environmentalists and wealthy celebrity liberals who hate the Keystone, which would run from Canada to the Gulf coast.
Journalists like CNN Money reporter Steve Hargreaves were left to defend the decision. In a Dec 14 piece titled "Keystone Pipeline: How many jobs it would really create?" Hargreaves cited two sources to make the case that the job-creating impact of the Keystone pipeline would be minimal at best - without noting the liberal environmental leanings of those sources.
"The Keystone pipeline project is back in play as part of the payroll-tax cut debate," Hargreaves said, "and Congressional Republicans say it would create jobs. But there's a wide range of estimates, with one forecast that Keystone could actually cost jobs."
That "one forecast" was a study from Cornell University that blasted the potential job-creating impact of the pipeline. Other studies have forecast positive job impacts for the pipeline.
The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute has previously documented that the Cornell study was authored by a board member of Greenpeace Canada and financed by the Goodman Group, which counts among its clients the Sierra Club and Greenpeace. This information did not appear in Hargreaves' report.
Hargreaves also quoted spokeswoman Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, of the National Resources Defense Council, who said "The Republicans have been acting like this is a national jobs package, and it's not."
Again, Hargreaves failed to explain that the National Resources Defense Council is an environmentalist group that is adamantly opposed to the pipeline. The group recently joined with three other environmental groups to file a lawsuit to block the pipeline. (Ironically, the National Resources Defense Council has previously come out against American dependence on unstable countries for foreign oil.)
In fairness to Hargreaves, those defending the indefensible are likely to pick up any tool at hand. Obama's decision was transparently political and deeply cynical, and no credible source would back it up.