In a new ad for the Virginia U.S. Senate race, Republican candidate George Allen implausibly argues that the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport Canadian tar sands crude from Montana to Texas refineries, would benefit the state of Virginia.
The unnarrated 75-second spot, entitled “Unabashed,” laments that the nation has endured “35 straight months of unemployment above 8%” and highlights President Barack Obama’s administration’s rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Then, it shows a lengthy series of video clips and newspaper headlines tying likely Democratic nominee, former Gov. Tim Kaine, to the administration’s position and backing the tar sands project:
— “Obama’s decision will cost the U.S. jobs
“ [Chicago Tribune, 1/19/12] — “Obama’s Keystone pipeline rejection is hard to accept” [Washington Post, 1/18/12] — “Obama’s Keystone pipeline nix worries small business” [CNNMoney.com, 1/19/12] — “Obama’s pipeline decision delays energy security” [USA Today, 1/18/12]
Watch the spot:
The ad ends with the text “Tim Kaine. President Obama’s Senator. NOT VIRGINA’S.”
The claims that the Keystone XL pipeline would be a significant job creator have been widely debunked and the media citations reference stories that relied on flawed information. But even if you believed the industry’s inflated claims of tens of thousands of jobs, is hard to imagine that a construction project nearly 1,000 miles away from even the Commonwealth’s western-most point would put a significant number of Virginians to work.
More likely to benefit, however, would be the big oil and other energy companies whose multi-million-dollar lobbying campaigns have focused heavily on pushing the pipeline’s construction. And, as it happens, that sector has heavily funded former Sen. Allen’s campaign. Though the campaign has refused to disclose the list clients at Allen’s company or what he did for the energy industry as a consultant in the time between his last campaign and this one, ThinkProgress reported last year that Allen founded an industry-tied group to oppose clean energy reforms, spoke at a global-warming deniers hosted by the Heartland Institute, and toured Virginia with the Koch Industries-funded Americans for Prosperity.
A more truthful ad would say: George Allen. Big Oil’s Senator. NOT VIRGINIA’S.