Rep. Cassidy urges Landrieu to bypass Obama for pipeline

Congressman discusses Keystone approval


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 29, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now to a midterm that is taking off in Louisiana. It is one of the Senate races that everyone is watching. This one is going to be a barn-burner, Republican Congressman Bill Cassidy now challenging Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu to bypass the president, pass the Keystone pipeline. The House is already putting a bill in place to do just that.

Now, we have made repeated attempts to get Senator Landrieu on. Hope springs eternal that might happen.

In the meantime, Congressman Cassidy with us now.

So, Congressman, first, have you gotten a response from the senator as to whether she would support this effort to bypass the president and vote for opening up the pipeline?

REP. BILL CASSIDY, R-LA.: So, only indirectly. She is supporting a nonbinding resolution, so I gather, to be voted on by the Senate. Of course, the operative term is nonbinding.


CAVUTO: I'm sorry. What is the resolution in the Senate?

CASSIDY: That somehow the nonbinding resolution that the Senate favors construction of Keystone XL pipeline.

A nonbinding resolution does nothing to create jobs for 20,000 Americans and does nothing to bring that energy to the coast for it to be refined into products which the rest of the world can use. I'm not sure nonbinding does much of anything.

CAVUTO: But it does give you the opportunity to have your cake and eat it too, which I always thought was a stupid expression, Congressman, because you're going to have the cake, you might as well eat the damn thing.

But, having said that, I'm wondering. Landrieu is playing a very fine line here. Right? It's important for jobs in your state and elsewhere, and jobs in general, but the fear is that environmentalists and those concerned about another Gulf-type disaster get ticked off.

Are you afraid about ticking that group off?

CASSIDY: If you say -- first, let's make it clear it is environmentally better to ship it by pipeline down to the coast, where on the Gulf Coast, using American environmental standards, it will be refined into usable products.

It's environmentally more harmful to pipe it to the Pacific Coast, ship it to Canada, so that they can refine it with lax environmental standards, and that stuff blow over to us. So I would say that the environmental sound thing to ship it by pipe down to the Gulf Coast. And I don't have problems with that. We have some of the safest pipelines in the world in the United States.

CAVUTO: But, Congressman, I had Daryl Hannah here yesterday on FOX Business Network, which, if you don't get, you should demand.

And she was pointing out to me -- she's a big environmentalist, as you know, has chained herself to the White House fence and protested opening up the Keystone. She said that -- that we don't even want this oil. We would put it on the market and sell it abroad, and she immediately said, then what's all the fuss for?

I reminded her that if the Europeans had another option rather than depending on Russia for its energy, that would be a very big reason, but, nevertheless, they're saying that this isn't about jobs. This is about oil companies getting richer.

You say what?

CASSIDY: So, the State Department has said there will be 20,000 direct jobs that will be created by this.

These are working-class jobs, people with better wages and better benefits, whose children will go to better schools, and whose future for that family will be brighter. For Daryl Hannah to kind of minimize the impact upon those families is to show incredible sensitivity to a group of Americans who are having a very hard time now.

She can fuss with the State Department. It's the State Department that says this is about at least 20,000 direct jobs.

CAVUTO: Congressman, good seeing you again.


CAVUTO: Senator Landrieu, if you're watching, your staff is watching, you're always invited on.

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