On Saturday's Bulls and Bears (1/26/2013), the topic was the approval of the Keystone Pipeline in Nebraska. Host Brenda Buttner could not have sounded more enthusiastic about that development as she opened the discussion. Her tone turned disapproving as she noted that there's “still no decision” from the White House. She added, “Gary B. (Smith), you say it's a no brainer for our economy, huh?”
Smith chuckled as he said, "I don't even know why we're talking about this. It adds jobs, it brings more natural resources into our country, it's already been proven to have almost zero environmental impact. This is a no brainer. And yet the administration is still slow walking this, I guess, for whatever crazy reason... Let the market operate."
Caroline Heldman was the lone voice of dissent on the five-person panel (not including Buttner), though only three other panelists had a chance to speak. She said, "We're talking about 2 – 4,000 temporary jobs from Cornell University. It will actually increase the price of gas and diesel in the United States because it will compete with Midwest resources. It adds three times the carbon footprint drawing from tar sands versus regular extraction, and the idea that it won't cause environmental damage when you are literally going through a deforesting and putting a pipeline over aquifers? You've got to be kidding me. Of course there's an environmental impact, and there's negative economic impact."
Buttner jumped back in. "All the states that it would go through have approved it Toby (Smith). That says something does it?"
Tobin Smith said, "By having this pipeline approved, we now start the wheels for the 12 other pipelines that we need because if we get those pipelines built, we will be larger exporter of oil than Saudi Arabia... This could be 5 million, maybe 6 million jobs."
Last year, Fox contributor Sally Kohn wrote a column for FoxNews.com in which she listed six reasons why Keystone is a bad deal: It wouldn't reduce oil dependency, it would increase domestic oil prices, it overstated the number of jobs created, the current pipeline leaked 12 times in 2011, the environmental concerns are justified, and mining tar sands would worsen climate change.
But Buttner never cited any of that, leaving it for her panelist to present those findings as a matter of opinion and making sure that she'd be greatly outnumbered by the other side.
Who’s in a better position to know?