Anti pipeline billionaire challenges TransCanada boss to live debate
Tom Steyer has also teamed up with a coalition of environmental groups on an anti-pipeline social media campaign.
CALGARY – A San Francisco billionaire has challenged TransCanada boss Russ Girling to a live debate on the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Tom Steyer, an ardent critic of the project and a major Democratic financier, extended his invitation in an open letter to Girling on Tuesday.
“I care so much that the truth comes out that I hereby challenge you to a debate on the merits and faults of the Keystone XL pipeline,” Steyer wrote. “Let’s have a real, substantial conversation about the issues at hand, and have the viewing public and have the public decide for themselves as to which of us is in possession of the more persuasive and the more important argument.”
A TransCanada spokesman didn’t say if Girling would accept the challenge.
“We respect the environmental review process put in place by the US Department of State and we have been working within that process for nearly five years,” said Shawn Howard in an email. “A decision on a Presidential Permit for Keystone XL will ultimately be made by the administration and we are hopeful that decision is made in the coming months.”
Howard added the project is expected to create thousands of jobs and displace US imports of crude from unfriendly countries – assertions Steyer disputes in his letter.
A draft State Department report earlier this year raised no major environmental red flags with the proposal, which had been rerouted to reduce some of the ecological impact in Nebraska.
©The Canadian Press