The recent US State Department report clearing the Keystone XL of any significant environmental impacts has driven opponents of the pipeline right to the very edge.
And in peering over that edge, it becomes clear that there isn't an awful lot there, except for some empty talking points.
Consider a pair of recent reports from the American wing of Russia Today. Abby Martin opened the March 4 edition of Breaking the Set by raving about the report. Strangely, she never advances beyond the standard anti-Keystone talking points: she declares oilsands oil to be "the dirtiest in the world," and insists that "big oil money" is being heard in Washington, DC over "the voice the people."
(Martin makes no mention of the recent poll that determined that 70% of Americans want the Keystone XL pipeline to be built.
A March 5 "interview" with Freedomworks' Patrick Hedger reveals just how closely Russia Today personalities are sticking to these talking points. While discussing a Cornell University report that insists Keystone XL would kill rather than create jobs, Liz Wahl repeatedly steers the conversation back to her own talking points. At times Hedger seems to be utterly mystified by this obvious effort on Wahl's part.
So just why is Russia Today so interested in Keystone XL to such a specific end? It might have something to do with the fact that Russia Today is one of Russia's state broadcasters. Russia Today is a creation of RIA Novosti, Russia's state-owned news agency.
Russia has certainly never been above meddling in the global oil economy. Their continued arms exports to Syria are part of that particular effort. Pushing an anti-Keystone XL agenda through a state broadcaster could certainly be seen as part of that very effort.
It certainly explains the Russia Today editorial line on the pipeline: long on rhetoric, sort on facts.