Steyer Launches Dishonest Attack on Keystone

Politico reports that Tom Steyer, the Democrat billionaire who is doing all he can to stop the Keystone Pipeline, has paid for a report that says terrorists could blow up Keystone:

The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is vulnerable to a terrorist attack that could trigger a spill of more than 7 million gallons of oil, a former Navy SEAL said in report released Wednesday.

The 14-page “threat assessment,” which was commissioned by billionaire Keystone opponent Tom Steyer, found that a small group of terrorists using just 4 pounds of explosives each at three pump facilities along the proposed pipeline route could cause a spill of 7.24 million gallons of oil sands crude.

The report was authored by David Cooper, command master chief SEAL for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and a 25-year veteran of Navy special operations. …

“By definition it’s a soft target. It’s easy to attack,” Cooper told reporters, referring to the pipeline. “While it’s not going to take a lot of lives perhaps, it is going to threaten the drinking water supplies for millions and millions of people.”

Cooper, in his report, said he has “no opinion” on Keystone XL and he noted that “the security risks might still be worth the benefits.” But he said the project should not be permitted until the security risks are addressed.

It is ironic, to say the least, that Steyer now has security concerns about pipelines. His hedge fund, Farallon Capital, invested $125 million in Kinder Morgan, the firm that is developing the alternative to Keystone, a pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the west coast. Is the pipeline in which Steyer is an investor somehow less vulnerable to terrorism than Keystone?

TransCanada, developer of the Keystone pipeline, hit back promptly, in another article in Politico:

Keystone XL developer TransCanada on Wednesday strongly rejected an assertion by a former Navy SEAL that the pipeline is vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

“The safe and reliable operation of our energy infrastructure network is TransCanada’s No. 1 priority,” company spokesman Shawn Howard said in a statement. …

“There are 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. — enough to circle the globe 100 times. Keystone XL is just 1,100 miles. Did Tom Steyer study other pipelines to assess their threats of attack, as well?” Howard asked.

“Why is Tom Steyer, who is committed to killing Keystone XL and the jobs and energy security it would provide, solely focusing on this pipeline alone? If he were truly concerned about the safety of Americans, then a broader assessment of all critical infrastructure would have been more appropriate,” he continued. …

TransCanada said Keystone and other pipelines are closely monitored by the Transportation Safety Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies “to ensure that proper and effective protective measures are in place.”

“We have and continue to work with them on our safety and security plans and we draw on their expertise and regulatory oversight,” Howard said. “We share that information with these agencies, and those plans under U.S. legislation for the overall protection of the public, our employees and facilities.”

Oil that is not carried in pipelines is transported in rail cars, in many of which Steyer’s fellow Democrat Warren Buffett has a major interest. Has Steyer commissioned a study to assess the potential for terrorist attacks on trains? Evidently not. Yet over the years, many such attacks have successfully been carried out.

This story simply illustrates, once again, the dishonesty of the Left when it comes to energy issues. Or any issues, for that matter.


Books to read from Power Line