Desperate Tom Steyer Now Paying for Polling

Billionaire Tom Steyer is facing an inconvenient truth: poll after poll has shown that an overwhelming majority of the American public supports Keystone XL – and as of late, that includes increasingly more Democrats and liberals. From former top Obama administration officials to Democrats in the Senate; from labor unions to MSNBC personalities, Democratic support for Keystone XL continues to grow.

So, what do you do when you’re clearly on the losing side in your own party? You pay for your own poll that asks misleading questions designed to get the results you want. Then you double down on your party by announcing the poll results at a briefing for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) before heading off to a fundraiser in San Francisco tonight to raise money to hit Keystone XL supporters in the 2014 elections.

But as many news outlets have reported, Steyer will likely receive the cold shoulder from his Democratic colleagues today. The Wall Street Journal reported, “In private, administration and party officials grumble about Mr. Steyer’s activism, in particular his attacks on some Democrats” especially as the Democratic Senate majority hangs in the balance.

Remember, Steyer announced last week that he intends to target a number of pro-Keystone XL Democrats up for reelection, notably Senator Landrieu of Louisiana.  But as Landrieu rightly said, a campaign targeting her for supporting Keystone XL, in a strong oil and gas state like Louisiana, would probably help her. Also noteworthy is that Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), the head of the DSCC, is on record supporting Keystone XL so he may not be too enthusiastic about Steyer’s election plans.

Steyer’s Plans for a Deceptive Poll

According to numerous media outlets, Tom Steyer’s poll asks questions of people based on the assumption that the oil from Keystone XL would be exported to China.  In other words, the entire poll is based on a false premise.  As the State Department confirmed again in its Final Environmental Impact Statement, Keystone XL will not be an export pipeline:

“Once WCSB crude oil arrives at the Gulf Coast, Gulf Coast refiners have a significant competitive advantage in processing it compared to foreign refiners because the foreign refiners would have to incur additional transportation charges to have the crude oil delivered from the Gulf Coast to their location. The pipeline or rail-delivered crude oil would compete with seaborne crude from elsewhere that has already undergone costs of loading onto seagoing tankers and may be delivered to other countries more competitively.”  (1.4-140)

Of course Steyer has tried this stunt before and has been called out for twisting the facts.  Just last month, the Washington Post Fact-Checker found that Steyer’s television ad claiming Keystone XL would be an export pipeline was worthy of “Four Pinocchio’s.”  As the Fact-Checker put it, “this ad does not even meet the minimal standards for such political attack ads. It relies on speculation, not facts, to make insinuations and assertions not justified by the reality.”

That isn’t the first time Steyer has been criticized for this export claim.  Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker called one of Tom Steyer’s previous anti-Keystone XL ads a “stunt” and good “political theater,” but adds that “as a lesson in global-oil economics, the ad lacked context.”

Despite spending millions for his cause Steyer is clearly losing: poll after poll after poll has shown that the American people are saying yes to Keystone XL.  Opponents are hoping that former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu is correct – that Obama is basing his decision on politics, not substance.  They don’t have the facts on their side so politics is their only game.

Now the question is: will President Obama stand with a billionaire activist who doesn’t even have the support of his own party over the overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans who support Keystone XL?

Click here for editorials in support of Keystone XL.

The state of American energy is strong – and could be stronger with Keystone XL

This week, Jack Gerard, President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API) delivered his State of American Energy speech outlining the choice that America faces: we can either move forward developing our tremendous resources, creating jobs, rapidly moving towards energy security, and becoming a world energy leader, or we can choose the path of […]

Keystone XL Opponents Wrong Again: Canadian Panel Recommends Northern Gateway Pipeline

Keystone XL opponents were wrong: a Canadian panel has recommended building the Northern Gateway pipeline Opponents are also wrong that stopping a pipeline would stop oil sands development The Northern Gateway pipeline could transport oil sands to countries like China; meanwhile Americans are still waiting for Keystone XL Big news this week: a panel of […]

Americans See Keystone XL Delay as Political, Not Based on “Legitimate Concerns”

Yet another poll this week showed strong, bipartisan support for Keystone XL – but this is no surprise considering that poll after poll has found that Americans overwhelmingly want President Obama to say yes to Keystone XL. Perhaps the new poll’s most interesting finding is this: over 60 percent of Americans believe that President Obama’s […]

Sparse Attendance at Keystone XL Protests – Meanwhile Americans Say Yes to Keystone XL

After anti-Keystone XL groups advertised their protest Friday at the White House tree lighting ceremony far and wide, even scoring coverage with a few Washington DC news outlets, Politico Pro reported that only “about 10 people showed up.”  But that might even be a generous estimate as pictures from show only about six people […]

Will Tom Steyer respond to consensus that his “crusade” is a “huge environmentalist mistake”?

Click above to view the full infographic. Today, Tom Steyer, along with his group NextGen Climate Action and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, will hold a climate summit to explore, as they say, “the pivotal question President Obama posed during his June 25th speech at Georgetown University: Would Keystone XL ‘significantly exacerbate’ carbon pollution?” […]

Fact Checking the Washington Post Fact Checker on Keystone XL

We typically appreciate the work of the Washington Post “Fact-Checker” but his “Fact-Check” last week on TransCanada’s Keystone XL commercial ignored the facts.  He gave TransCanada three Pinocchios for producing an ad which simply points out the obvious: the Keystone XL pipeline could significantly reduce the United States’ reliance on oil from unstable or unfriendly […]