Cornell University Study: Keystone Pipeline “may actually destroy more jobs than it generates”

Posted By Lowell F. on November 3rd, 2011

You’ve probably seen ads by the oil industry (hard to miss, they’re pretty much ubiquitous) claiming that the proposed Keystone Canadian oil sands pipeline project would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in America.

Well, think again. In fact, according to an independent study by Cornell University - the only study, to our knowledge, that was not sponsored by the oil and gas industry, or by TransCanada itself –  there actually would be ZERO net increase in jobs, just 3,000 or so temporary jobs while the pipeline is being constructed, from the Keystone project.  Here are a few more highlights from the Cornell study which everyone, including the U.S. government officials looking at whether to approve this project or not, needs to look at:

  • “The construction of KXL will create far fewer jobs in the US than its proponents have claimed and may actually destroy more jobs than it generates.
  • “The claim that KXL will create 20,000 direct construction and manufacturing jobs in the US is unsubstantiated. There is strong evidence to suggest that a large portion of the primary material input for KXL—steel pipe—will not even be produced in the US.”
  • “The industry’s job projections fail to consider the large number of jobs that could be lost by construction of KXL. This includes jobs lost due to consumers in the Midwest paying 10 to 20 cents more per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel. These additional costs ($2 to $4 billion) will suppress other spending and cost jobs. Furthermore, pipeline spills, pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions incur significant human health and economic costs, thus eliminating jobs.”

And worst of all:

  • “By helping to lock in US dependence on fossil fuels, Keystone XL will impede progress toward green and sustainable economic renewal and will have a chilling effect on green investments and green jobs creation. The green economy has already generated 2.7 million jobs in the US and could generate many more.”

The bottom line:  this project is bad news no matter how you look at it. As for the oil industry’s wildly inflated claims about supposed jobs and economic benefits from the Keystone oil sands pipeline project?  They smell about as bad as the tar pits on a hot Canadian summer day.

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