NBC, ABC Skip Obama Administration's Delay of Pipeline That Could Create 20,000 Jobs
ABC and NBC completely ignored a decision by the Obama administration that could kill up to 20,000 jobs. Only CBS's Evening News on Thursday reported that a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to Texas has been delayed until after the presidential election due to environmental concerns.
Evening News reporter Mark Strassmann explained, "Supporters said the pipeline from Canada's tar sand fields would create more than 20,000 jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East."
He added, "But opponents argued the pipeline was a potential environmental hazard that could have polluted an aquifer that supplies drinking water for eight states."
Strassmann pointed out that the decision allows Obama to put off a "very tough decision" and that the President "was squeezed between environmentalists on one side and labor unions aching for jobs on the other."
On NBC, Today and the Nightly News both skipped the subject. ABC's World News and Good Morning America did the same. While Thursday's Evening News did feature the story in a full report, Friday's Early Show ignored it.
American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard appeared on the November 10th Kudlow Report to complain about the decision: "It's clear the President, tonight, made a very calculated political judgment. And in our view, he gave away 20,000 new American jobs for one job. His own."
Host Larry Kudlow called the decision an "outrage" and complained, "This undermines every single thing the President has said regarding the desirability of an American energy revolution that could make us independent."
The Washington Times' Tim Devaney on Friday noted:
The reaction was negative north of the border. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters that he was disappointed by the delay.
"The pipeline will create thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth on both sides of the border," he said.
TransCanada's president and CEO, Russ Girling, took a shot at the decision to kill what he called "shovel-ready" jobs.
"If Keystone XL dies, Americans will still wake up the next morning and continue to import 10 million barrels of oil from repressive nations, without the benefit of thousands of jobs and long-term energy security," he said.
A transcript of the November 10 Evening News segment can be found below:
SCOTT PELLEY: The Obama administration said today that it will hold off on making a final decision about a new oil pipeline between the U.S. and Canada. Environmentalists have been critical of the project and today's announcement delays any action until after the presidential election. Mark Strassmann has been in Calgary working on a story about the proposed pipeline. Mark?
MARK STRASSMANN: Until this month, Scott, today's pipeline and the building of it seemed inevitable, even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was inclined to approve it. But today's delay therefore has stunned the TransCanada, the company that would have built the pipeline and its CEO is Russ Girling.
RUSS GIRLING: To come to the conclusion that we need more study is obviously very disappointing for us and is going to be very, very disappointing for our customers.
STRASSMANN: The $7 billion underground pipeline would carry oil 1700 miles from western Canada through six U.S. states to refineries of heavy crude near Houston. Supporters said the pipeline from Canada's tar sand fields would create more than 20,000 jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on oil from the Middle East. But opponents argued the pipeline was a potential environmental hazard that could have polluted an aquifer that supplies drinking water for eight states. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling says his company will regroup with the U.S. State Department next week about the next step and blamed environmentalists for hijacking the debate over the pipeline.
RUSS GIRLING: The tragedy is to the average American that manufactures things to supply the oil sands, whether it be tires, caterpillar tractors in Pennsylvania. They're all over the United States. The average person that's out of work right now, this is a great opportunity to go back to work and we're throwing it out the door if we let this project die.
STRASSMANN: Even if TransCanada gets eventual approval, the earliest construction could begin some time in 2013. This delay allows President Obama to put off a very tough decision. He was squeezed between environmentalists on one side and labor unions aching for jobs on the other. With this delay, Scott, he won't have to decide until well after next year's election.
PELLEY: Mark thank you very much.
— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.