Dirty Energy & Fuel

Published on November 14th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

Keystone XL & Jobs


keystone xl stopped

One of the big arguments for the Keystone XL pipeline, which will now be approved no earlier than 2013, if at all, is that it will create a lot of U.S. jobs. Well, to put the matter bluntly, that is horse s***.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently compiled a handful of points on this matter that are worth a share. First of all, there’s the study from Cornell I’ve mentioned a few times that found the project could cost the U.S. jobs, and would create up to 5,000 at best. But there are a few more interesting points to make:

  1. “Initially, TransCanada, the would-be pipeline builder, as well as other boosters, claimed the project would create a quarter-million jobs. Exposed as pure propaganda, they have reduced that number to 20,000. Even that’s fiction.”
  2. A TransCanada executive actually admitted in a CNN interview that the project would create no more than hundreds of permanent jobs, “not thousands.”
  3. A Washington Post article reported that TransCanada also admitted the claim that it would create 20,000 jobs was off, and the number was closer to half that (according to TransCanada itself). Furthermore, it acknowledged that these would mostly be temporary jobs.
  4. “The Council on Foreign Relations’ Michael Levi, who is actually a proponent of the project, blogged that U.S. Chamber of Commerce numbers were based on a ‘dead wrong’ study.”
  5. The State Department, charged with reviewing the pipeline proposal, reports that the project will create 5,000-6,000 jobs. (It doesn’t mention how many will be lost.)

Why are proponents lying about the number of jobs the project would create? Well, for one, the project doesn’t have much going for it, and they have to cling to (or lie about) whatever they can. Secondly, everyone knows the American public wants more jobs more than anything else right now — make a project sound like it’s a big job-creator (even if it’s actually a job-killer), and you can sway a decent portion of the population, even if it’s for a project that could destroy numerous waterways and is a climate change carbon bomb.

Will the American have the sense to see through the jobs flat-out lies and misleading statements? Hopefully.

For more on another big fat lie about the project, check out the NRDC’s Anthony Swift knocking down the false meme that the KeyStone XL tar sands pipeline would help with national security.

Photo Credit: Shadia Fayne

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.

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