Your Views: Stick to facts, not hype, on Keystone job outlook

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Putting the obvious political screed aside, it would be instructive if letter writers such as Michael J. Obershaw stuck to facts.

His declaration that Keystone XL would create “10,000 jobs paying up to $100,000 a year” ignores that even TransCanada acknowledges the jobs are temporary (maybe lasting two years). Forbes Magazine (5/10/13) quotes a study by the Cornell University Global Labor Institute as finding that the total number of permanent jobs created will be something like 35. That’s right, thirty-five!

Additionally, 85-90 percent of the jobs will be from out-of-state and nonlocal. Cornell states there is no way to project how many jobs (direct, indirect, induced) will be created. Current facilities and workers will do most of the refining. Even half or more of the pipe itself will be manufactured outside of the U.S.

Spin-off jobs are always predicted to be higher than reality shows. Trans-Alaska (Prudhoe to Valdez) did not provide the number estimated, and the Wall Street Journal said in September 1979 that the oil industry had “failed to create a significant number of permanent jobs in Alaska.”

Long-term, good-paying jobs are, thus, unlikely to increase from Keystone XL. Do some research, avoid the political spin, and you will have a clearer picture of what Keystone XL probably will not accomplish. The job hype is just that—hype from TransCanada. While you are researching, ask yourself why Canadians voted down having the pipeline go through Canadian soil and out through Vancouver. It may be instructive!



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