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Billionaire To Air Ad Bashing Keystone XL Pipeline During State Of The Union

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TOM STEYER
Thomas 'Tom' Steyer, founder of Farallon Capital Management LLC, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Pescadero, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013. Keystone XL will be a 'major driver' of oil sands expansion that significantly raises the risks of climate change, said Steyer, a former hedge fund manager who has spent some of his fortune fighting the pipeline. | Bloomberg via Getty Images

WASHINGTON -– Billionaire green investor Tom Steyer and his NextGen Climate Action PAC will run an ad before President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night calling for the rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

"It's a sucker punch to America's heartland," says the ad, which will air on MSNBC before and after the president's speech. The ad argues China will benefit from the proposed pipeline, which would run from Canada's tar sands to ports in Texas. Chinese companies have made investments in the pipeline, it argues, and much of the oil will be exported after it is refined.

“They’re counting on the U.S. to approve TransCanada’s pipeline to ship oil through America’s heartland and out to foreign countries like theirs," says the ad. "The oil lobbyists and politicians, they take Americans for suckers."

TransCanada rebutted those claims in a statement to Politico, arguing that the contracts for shipping the oil through the pipeline are all with U.S. companies.

Steyer is a former hedge fund manager who was a big donor to Obama's campaign. He is now spending much of his time and money opposing the proposed pipeline.

His group is not the first to raise questions as to whether Keystone XL would benefit countries like China. Some Democrats in Congress have also pushed for legislation that would require oil shipped through the pipeline to stay in the U.S.

Here's the full ad:

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