The Keystone pipeline and the politics of climate change

Insight from the 'Special Report' All-Star panel


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," November 6, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: After a seven year review today it became official. President Obama sighing the Keystone XL pipeline would not be in the national interest, and for this administration the decision is it's over. We're back with the panel. George?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, people are saying that he weighed the decision for seven years. I don't think he weighed it for 10 minutes. I think he decided seven years ago this wasn't going to be built and he waited for the right moment to do it.

The theory is, I guess, twofold. One is that if we don't build the pipeline the tar sands in Canada will not be developed. That's nonsense. And the other is it's better to ship the oil from the tar sands on railroad cars than underground in a pipeline, which is nonsense on stilts.

DAVID CATANESE, U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT: This is now an easy layup for every Republican out there to say that what they would do if they were in the White House, virtually all the presidential candidates came out and said that they would go forward with the pipeline.

It was interesting, though, reading the numbers, 35,000 temporary jobs it would have created, but only 35 permanent jobs. And I think you that the economic argument, while there was widespread public support for it, I think that stuck out for a lot of people that these weren't permanent jobs. Still, though, it shows you how important the presidency is. You can control Congress all day long, but President Obama, this is why Republicans want the White House.

BAIER: Senator Hoeven obviously saying it's going to keep on coming up and they are going to press it, but even unions were pushing for this thing.

CHARLES HURT, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Yes. They are not going to stop campaigning, Republicans aren't going to stop making an issue out of this for a very long time, especially if we start to see greater fluctuating, the rise of oil prices and things like that and people paying more to power their homes.

It was pure pandering. And I think you even got a sense from some of the environmental groups acknowledge that they had to kind of push him in this direction. But I thought one of the things that was most interesting about it was that he credited advice from John Kerry, secretary of state, for making the decision, which is just, it's just sort of another example, we see it mostly with the war on terror and things like that, where you have the president sort of bowing to a globalist viewpoint of these issues. And it's maddening for Americans, but it's how he does it.

BAIER: All right, winners and losers, George?

WILL: The winner of the week is Kevin Brady, congressman from Texas, who takes over elected chairman of the most important committee in Congress, the Ways and Means, the chairmanship given up by Paul Ryan. The loser of the week is Bill O'Reilly of FOX News. His book called "Killing Reagan" is being eviscerated by real historians and by almost everyone who worked and knew Ronald Reagan. Viewers might want to see his response to my criticism on the segment we taped for his show tonight that is so unhinged as to be highly amusing.

BAIER: So that goes to prove how much autonomy is given panelists on the winners and losers.


BAIER: OK, David?

CATANESE: The winner of the week is Marco Rubio who picked up three Senate endorsements this week. A report is he has landed 25 new fundraising bundlers in the past week since his debate performance. He looks like the establishment choice to the alternative to the Trump and Carson top tier.

The loser is Bernie Sanders I think after a summer of rallies with tens of thousands of people. It's turned to the fall of Hillary Clinton. She looks more than ever as a likely Democratic nominee. There is a poll in South Carolina that has him down by 57 points.

BAIER: OK. Charles?

HURT: I'm going to start with my losers, Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe spent millions to flip the Virginia Senate this week on Tuesday. They failed, and they were driving the issue of gun control. They pinned the entire thing on a terrible tragedy that happened down in southwest Virginia. And they thought that they could make it flip -- not only flip the Senate but finally win a gun fight in an election, and they failed. So I think they are the big losers.

I think the winner is John Boehner because he has finally gotten on his horse and ridden off into the sunset, and I bet there is nobody in politics happier than John Boehner right now.

BAIER: Horse or a golf cart either one. Panel thank you very much.

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