The Keystone XL Pipeline is a project to bring oil from the tar sands of Alberta Canada through the middle of America's heartland to the gulf of Mexico. There are presently two other pipelines that are smaller in size that do the exact same thing. There is a lot of misinformation that has been brought about due to this project. This article will present a rebut to the common wisdom that has been brought as of late.
The amount of jobs that this project will bring to the United States has been drastically overstated. TransCanada uses projection models that include gas stations and hotels around the pipeline due to the increase of people in the areas where the pipeline was being built. There is no way to tell if this would be correct and can not be counted on as jobs. Many claim that this will create 20,000 jobs. According to the State Departments report, "The construction work force would consist of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 workers, including Keystone employees, contractor employees, and construction and environmental inspection staff. That would generate from $349 million to $419 in total wages. An estimated $6.58 to $6.65 billion would be spent on materials and supplies, easements, engineering, permitting, and other costs." How many of these Keystone employees would be new hires in the US? How many in the other categories are going to be American workers? Both lower these numbers even further for America. In fact the oil industry cited reports in which a job that lasted two years was counted twice. This inflated the numbers drastically.
Oil prices is another key issue that has been fought over. Some claim that this would lower oil prices globally as well as here in the United States. However this is not the case. The oil industry with this pipeline would increase the price of oil in the midwest anywhere from 10 to 20 cents a gallon. This pipeline would bypass the midwest refineries going straight to the gulf and causing oil prices to increase. Also the type of oil that is being transported is called Bitumen, a product that takes more money to refine and is used in very few products, not cars or trucks where most oil is used.
There is great concern that due to the fact that this pipeline goes across the middle of America that if there were an oil spill water supplies as well as food would be greatly impacted if there were to be a spill. Of course this is purely speculation and is a what if scenario. However with the recent gulf oil spill and the history of the oil industry of causing massive damage due to their negligence in safety for profit margins. The concern for safe air and drinking water is key to the economy. Without clean air and water the consumers will be absent. We need clean air and water to live. If there is no clean air or water there will be no humans to keep the economy going. If you clear out the middle of the country due to an environmental disaster like an oil spill it will devastate the entire economy, look at the gulf.
There are many environmental concerns that include climate change that claim this will be a game changer. Yet TransCanada is going to sell this oil either way for it to be refined, to the US or the Chinese. Therefore I personally believe either way we are in trouble in regards of Climate Change and thus why I am not touching it in this article.
In summation, the claims of this pipeline are highly over exaggerated by lobbyists for the oil industry and those who curry their favor in DC. The truth is this, if someone came to you with a business proposal that had massive holes in their studies, who outright lied about their numbers based upon projections that counted 2 year jobs as two jobs, that did not account for environmental concerns that impact the economy, that raise the cost of doing business in certain parts of the country, would you accept this proposal and give it a green light just for a few thousand jobs? There are many ways to create jobs here in the US. Look at the manufacturing industry which has actually increased jobs in the recent quarter. Look at the infrastructure that is dilapidated and falling apart and would create far more jobs than this pipeline. There are numerous ways you can create jobs here in the US to help the economy. However accepting a job from an oil company that lied in it's proposal is not in our national interests. If you had governed under an oil spill from an oil company who lied in their reports to the US government such as happened in the gulf with the Deepwater Horizon incident, it is hard to accept that deal.