Embattled Corporation Turns To Push Polling On Keystone XL Pipeline

tar sands protest photo

credit: Tar Sands Action/CC

File this one under disgusting. TransCanada, the corporation that is trying to build the 1,700-mile long Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, has resorted to push polling so it can have its way. If you're unfamiliar with the technique, it involves automated phone calls that trick unsuspecting people into supporting a cause--like, for instance, an oil pipeline that would go right through your supply of fresh water, which is what the Keystone XL would do to Nebraskans.Here's the script from the calls:

Hello. I'm calling from Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence asking you to press 1 on your keypad, to authorize us to send a Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will help increase supply and lower gas prices, create thousands of American jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

To be built - the Pipeline must have an international border crossing permit, which can only be issued by the US Department of State. The Department has asked to hear from Nebraskans in support of the Pipeline, and we're offering an opportunity for you to do so - now.

Secretary of State Clinton will be the ultimate decision maker to build the Keystone XL Pipeline and bring hundreds of family-supporting jobs to Nebraska, hundreds of millions in new tax revenue, and reduce our dependence on oil from counties like Iran and Venezuela.

Please Press 1 now to authorize us to send a letter to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in support of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will help to lower gas prices, create American jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

If Press 1: Thank you so much for your support for a permit that will allow TransCanada to build a pipeline to carry Canadian crude from Alberta to Houston refineries. We will submit a letter on your behalf in support of the project.

Besides the blatant dishonesty of the tactic, the actual text contains several misleading or flat out wrong statements. To pick two, the script says that pipeline will lower gas prices and lesson America's dependance on foreign oil. In truth:

--One of the top beneficiaries of the pipeline, Valero, will be exporting the Canadian oil they receive.

--According to TransCanada, the pipeline will increase the price of oil in the Midwest!

President Obama will decide on the fate of the pipeline this year. I hope he knows who he might be doing business with.