Everyone's Liberal in Nebraska? AP Report on Keystone Pipeline Dominated by Eco-Protesters

When the State Department held a hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline in Grand Island, Nebraska, the Associated Press displayed an obvious preference for one side: the pipeline-haters. They couldn't quote one Nebraska resident who might favor the job-creating project.

Grant Schulte’s report was 18 paragraphs long, and most of them obsessed over what the eco-protesters wanted. The only pipeline proponent quoted arrived in paragraph 12....after some newspapers might cut the article for space. Schulte began with a thrill over possible civil disobedience against Team Obama:

Opponents of a massive Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline converged on a snowy Nebraska town Thursday for a critical hearing on the project, but they already were preparing for acts of civil disobedience should President Barack Obama approve it.

Despite a spring storm that brought sleet and snow to Nebraska, the U.S. State Department hearing in Grand Island drew more than 1,000 supporters and opponents from around the state, as well as activists from outside the region who consider Nebraska a key battleground over the Keystone XL pipeline.

As they waited for an opportunity to speak at the Heartland Events Center on the state fairgrounds, many activists outlined plans for civil disobedience and state-court lawsuits designed to keep the project from moving forward. Project foes have promised to block construction workers and lie down in front of equipment — whatever it takes to stop the $7.6  billion pipeline from connecting Canada's tar sands region to Texas refineries.

Mysteriously, the headline was "Keystone XL opponents brace for protests in Neb." Wouldn't the Keystone supporters brace for protests, or the prosters brace "themselves" for protests?

Five local and national protesters were quoted or cited in the story, with one "progressive" label. This is the one pro-pipeline quote that is paragraph 12:

"There is no alternative to pipelines. There is no safer way," said Brigham McCown, a former administrator for the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration under the Bush administration. "I've looked at this project, and . . . I wish every pipeline in this country were built to this project's specifications."

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis