Democratic Senator Completely Annihilates Fox News’ Keystone XL Pipeline Talking Points

sheldon whitehouse

During his appearance on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) shut down host Chris Wallace’s attempt to get him to agree with Republican talking points regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. Both Whitehouse and Sen. John Thune (R-SD) were on Sunday’s show to talk about the upcoming Senate vote on passage of the long-debated project. It is assumed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has scheduled the vote this session to help Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in her reelection bid.

Landrieu, who is one of the few Senate Democrats who support the pipeline’s extension, is currently battling Republican Bill Cassidy in a Senate runoff election after neither candidate pulled 50% of the vote on Election Day. By allowing a vote in the Senate, it allows Landrieu a chance to show her support for the pipeline, which could possibly help her chances with conservatives and moderates in the runoff. (Of course, it may also further alienate liberals and progressives.)

While interviewing the two senators, Wallace discussed the likely scenario of President Obama vetoing the bill if it is passed in the Senate. The host also allowed Thune to push the idea that Keystone XL will bring tens of thousands of jobs into the United States. Furthermore, Wallace tried to refute Obama’s latest statements on the pipeline with ‘facts’ of his own.

From the show’s transcript:

WALLACE: Let me — let’s drill down, if you will, into the merits of the Keystone pipeline. President Obama was pretty defiant about the pipeline and his approval for it this week in Asia. Let’s take a look.


OBAMA: I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States or is somehow lowering gas prices. Understand what this project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land down to the Gulf where it would be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.


WALLACE: But let’s take a look at the facts. The State Department says the project would create 12,000 direct and related jobs near the pipeline, perhaps tens of thousands more further away from the pipeline. It’s not just Canadian crude, as the president said. It also would carry 100,000 barrels a today from Montana and North Dakota.

After this statement, Wallace then turned to Whitehouse and tried to get him to agree with the notion that the pipeline will lower gas prices in the United States and be a huge job producer. Whitehouse had none of it, tearing apart Wallace’s carefully selected GOP talking points. Whitehouse also pointed out that Reid has provided opportunities in the past for the Senate to vote on the pipeline but Republicans turned him down due to partisan politics prior to Election Day.

WALLACE: Senator Whitehouse, oil markets are global. If you put more supply into any part of the system, it’s going to lower prices at least marginally everywhere. The president is wrong at a bunch of these points.

WHITEHOUSE: Well, the different is that the tar sands is probably the filthiest fuel on the planet, and when you add that into the equation, you dramatically increase the effect of carbon pollution and of greenhouse gases. Now, our friends on the other side won’t agree that any of this is real. They will never treat climate change seriously. And so, they just look at the one side of the ledger, which is a bunch of jobs.

And I think it’s 4,000 direct jobs, which is good. I mean, I’m not going to under — you know, to try to deprecate that. But we’re growing at 200,000 jobs a month in this economy. And the last environment and public works bills for the highways would have been 1.8 million jobs.

So, this is no jobs game changer. And I should correct one thing — Harry Reid twice offered votes on Keystone on the Shaheen bill, and the Republicans refused to allow those votes because they didn’t want the Shaheen to pass before the election. It would have been good for her in New Hampshire to have passed a major piece of bipartisan legislation like that.

WALLACE: Let me —

WHITEHOUSE: So the Republicans had the chance to vote on Keystone and turned it down.

Of course, being that it is Fox News, Wallace let the Republican get the last word in on the subject. Thune ended up skirting concerns about pollution by saying the oil is going to get used anyway, so the United States may as well benefit from it. Thune also claimed that the oil from the tar sands was just going to replace oil from Venezuela. When Whitehouse tried to offer a counterpoint to  Thune’s argument, Wallace cut him off and said they needed to move to another subject.

Still, Whitehouse went into enemy territory and stood tall. He didn’t allow Wallace to twist his words or get him to speak out against the President. Whitehouse stood by his principles presented a strong reason why Democrats should continue to refuse to vote for the Keystone XL pipeline.

36 Replies to “Democratic Senator Completely Annihilates Fox News’ Keystone XL Pipeline Talking Points”

  1. Whitehouse tells the truth, FOX lies. Anyone who watches FOX will believe the lies because they want to. In the RWNJ echo chamber, there is no room for critical reasoning.

  2. Yes, thank goodness for Whitehouse-D for telling and sticking to the truth: keystone is not a job creator, it takes away the rights of land owners and native Americas, it puts our largest ground water mass, the Ogallala aquifer at risk from a oil spill that will happen. This aquifer covers 8 states, supplies 2.3 million people with drinking water, is responsible for watering crops such as corn, soybeans, and livestock. This water is the life source that feeds the US food market and we’re going to put that at risk just so the politicians can pay back the oil men that gave them money for their reelection or election campaign? NO!

  3. Where the hell was this pushback before the midterms?

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the Democrats. They were AWOL during the entire campaign. There was zero defense of Democrat policies or President Obama.

    Too little- too late, Senator Whitehouse.

  4. I am with you on this, TrumanDem.
    The base has been pleading for raw meat for fully six years.
    What did we get? Zip!

    Better late than not at all.

  5. Wallace stated…”It also would carry 100,000 barrels a day from Montana and North Dakota.” Is this true?
    So, the pipeline operators will be mixing a tar sand mixture, containing a natural gas condensate-naphtha, to improve the flowability in the pipeline with crude oil from other fields?

    As I understand the XL pipeline is excluded from having to put money into a pipeline cleanup fund because it is defined as a non-crude oil pipeline.

  6. I read quite a lot of pushback by progressive Dems in alternative sources – never forget that the MSM including cable are gatekeepers. What people such as Whitehouse were saying was KEPT AWAY from you, me, voters everywhere. Stop insisting it’s these good Dems who did nothing and start heading to your local TV station to DEMAND fair practices in who gets heard. That’s what the Right did for so many years. We need to do the same NOW.

  7. The Canadians can pump this crap to their own coast but they face a ton of opposition to a pipeline in their own country. Most of the oil is destined for China and by my calculation running a pipeline from Alberta to BC is a hell of a lot shorter than running one to Texas and the oil is much closer via ship to China. What am I missing here? We build a pipeline risking the Ogalla Aquifer and other important water resources, Canada and the Kochs profit and don’t have liability for a spill. Screw that nonsense. Also the existing pipeline the Keystone would hook up to had 12 spills in the first year alone.

  8. The southern leg, to Port Arthur TX, was not TransCanada’s first choice. The Pacific coast was (closer to China, where much of the refined oil will go) but the western provinces protested so vehemently that they scrapped that idea and took the path of least resistance-a thoroughly corrupt GOP.

  9. What you’re missing is simple. Water – Warren Buffet says it will be worth more than oil. No coincidence that they want to run a pipeline – who says it has to be one? Texas will pay a lot for water out of the Aquifer[WINK]

  10. POTUS gave TransCanada the green light to build Keystone South in his 1st term. It was built & is completed & operational—it cuts across Oklahoma & Texas. Most Americans know nothing about KXL South. Your ignorance is their bliss!
    I don’t know about “4000 jobs.” I have a video in which Van Jones quotes State Department numbers as “600 temporary jobs & 35 permanent jobs.” Something’s not right.

  11. A vote to push the pipeline was made to help Sen Mary Landrieu keep her senate seat.

    My question is; is the sovereignty of our country worth a Senator keeping her seat? IMO it is not.

    You also might want to check out this article on the number of jobs building it will create.

    Is appx 35 permanent jobs worth a a Senator keeping her seat?


  12. Yes, 100,000 bbls a day from the Bakken oil fields, to be exported to Asia and Europe, creating local scarcity here and driving the price of fuel back up again.

  13. I’ve watched Whitehouse on the floor of the Congress. I appreciate his forthright stands and carries a Democratic tradition which is “the best for Americans”not the corporations who make their money and run. The Koch brothers can’t buy a man like Whitehouse, he has too much integrity.

  14. if this pipeline is completed, it will kill the steady oversupply in the Midwest and west coast regions of this country and there would be a sharp INCREASE in gasoline prices not only in the west, but the entire country… the only people who make out on this deal are, surprise-surprise, the Koch brothers who own the Canadian land and tar sands oil (which is pure poison) and if they can build this pipeline to the gulf for sale on the world market, they would see at least $100 billion in profits which would more than double their networth. despicable!! its not worth the risks involved. the kochs can get their oil to the coast without the keystone.

  15. This is poli-ticks…101

    The Dem Sen Mary Landrieu can claim a “victory” if it passes and show she is in lock-step with the rank and file of her state. Then it will head up to the President who will “veto” it and she can then pull the final coup de grace, “My party leader is not my leader” crap.

    Again, it’s all to appease the (uneducated) rank and file who believe the job propaganda. (God I _hate_ the BS of a two party system.)

  16. My question: Is Mary Landreau worth it? Did she stand by the Dem’s during the last election? Did she stand up for the Pres? Should the whole country suffer, if this XL pipeline passes, to save Mary? We would suffer much if this pipeline causes contamination of our water source. You will notice, the Canadians didn’t want it either.

  17. boy, do those republicans and their horde of rightwing whacko birds ever stop telling the most blatant, ridiculous, despicable lies??? the keystone will not create tens of thousands of jobs. that is absolute bullsh*t. the highest jobs estimates are around 2,000 or less temporary, 3 month construction jobs. THAT’S IT! unless you incude the 50 jobs after the pipe is constructed. transcanadian employees will be monitoring and maintaining this new terrorist target when finished. scary! with the 2016 presidential elections now on the horizon, more americans will be tuning in and will see just how deceitful, manipulative, obstructive and devisive the republicans in congress have become. and who are the two people who make out the most if this deal goes through??? oh, surprise-surprise, the Koch brothers who own the tar sands oil and the Canadian land will make $100 billion dollars more on their toxic sludge by building the keystone instead of using existing pipelines, to sell the oil on the

  18. i’m afraid these two brothers will cause irreversible damage to our democracy, our environment, and our country if we do not challenge them. keep your eyes open! and don’t let righties spread lies and hate unchallenged anymore.

  19. No- it’s up to “these good Dems” to be heard.

    Until THEY push back, the only people we hear are Republicans and RWers.

    It’s not up to us to go out and find Dems who challenge Repubs, it’s up to the Dems to do their job and fight for the American people so they can be heard.

  20. Van Jones is correct.

    From the Executive Summary of the Keystone XL Pipeline by the US State Department:

    “Generally, the largest economic impacts of pipelines occur during construction rather than operations. Once in place, the labor requirements for pipeline operations are relatively minor. Operation of the proposed Project would generate 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs, primarily for routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Based on this estimate, routine operation of the proposed Pipeline would have negligible socioeconomic impacts.”

  21. Brian, two things to know. First KOCH’S own the refineries in Houston. Second is that the oil shipped out of Houston would be tax free and not in Canada. THIS WOULD PROFIT KOCH’S A HALF OF TRILLION DOLLARS PROFIT. Do I need to say more!!!!

  22. The environment is under attack has been under attack and as long as the almighty dollar rules it will remain under attack. Personally I don’t give a crap either way. It’s not my doom or most of the folks over 50 we just might make it before all the results from the greed began to slap folks in the face hard enough to wake them up. Follow the money like they always say and you will see the Koch boys are going to rake in billions on the Keystone fiasco but who cares. Maybe that trickle down might show up somewhere. Take care and God Bless America, I think!

  23. I wonder what all the hoopla is about. I thought I read somewhere that KXL had decided on a new route over to Nova Scotia. Or was that maybe an Onion or Daily Currant piece and I failed to catch it?

  24. The Democratic party in my opinion needs to have if not an internal war a serious discussion on it’s direction and future. Either the Democratic party becomes the party of working class Americans or it becomes an offshoot of the GOP. Is the Democratic party conservative or progressive? Is there room for both? The GOP has shifted so far rightward I fear the Democratic party is falsely believing it needs to follow suit. If the same party leadership stays in power as unfortunately it looks like don’t expect much change. Pelosi and Reid should step aside and let some new democrats take the party into the future.

  25. Senator Mary Landrieu supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and equal pay for equal work.
    Dr. Bill Cassidy voted NO.
    Mary supported the Paycheck Fairness Act and ending pay discrimination.
    Dr. Bill Cassidy voted NO.
    Mary co-sponsored the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act with bi-partisanship to protect women from domestic violence. In addition, she has secured millions in grants for local charities, LA law enforcement agencies, and local legal clinics to protect battered women and their children.
    Dr. Bill Cassidy voted NO to VAWA and actually voted to charge women more for domestic violence screenings.
    Mary voted to ensure women have access to preventive care, like mammograms, at no additional charge.
    Dr. Bill Cassidy voted repeatedly to increase the costs for these services.
    Mary voted to ensure women could no longer be charged more for health care just for being a woman.
    Dr. Bill Cassidy repeatedly voted to go back to the day when being a woman was considered a …

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