Obama disputes job projections for Keystone XL pipeline: NYT

WASHINGTON Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:26pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington from Camp David, July 26, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington from Camp David, July 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama called into question the number of jobs that would be created from the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in an interview with the New York Times released on Saturday.

"Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator," Obama said, according to the newspaper.

"There is no evidence that that's true. The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two, and then after that we're talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people."

TransCanada Corp's proposed pipeline is designed to carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Canadian oil sands and the Bakken shale in North Dakota and Montana south to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would cost about $5.3 billion to build.

Obama's administration is under pressure from Republicans and business groups to approve the project because of the economic benefits they say it will bring.

Environmentalists oppose the project because of the carbon pollution they say it would generate. Carbon emissions are blamed for contributing to global warming.

The project was first proposed in 2008 but is still making its way through a State Department study process.

The Times said Obama disputed an argument that the pipeline would bring down gasoline prices. He said it might actually increase prices somewhat in the U.S. Midwest, which would be able to ship more of its oil elsewhere in the world, the paper reported.

Obama said in June the project would serve U.S. interests only if it did not "significantly exacerbate" carbon pollution. The Times quoted him as saying that Canada could potentially be doing more to "mitigate carbon release."

The administration's final decision is expected later this year or early in 2014.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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Comments (9)
Gigimoderate wrote:
What economic benefits are the Republicans talking about? We are just the transport of this nasty and violate thick crude on its way to the gulf to be shipped overseas. Jobs?How many construction workers does it take to build the final leg of the pipeline, since 90% of the pipeline is already built? This will make gasoline go up because it will create a artificial spike in supply in that area.

Jul 27, 2013 11:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ajsfca wrote:
If so, then where are 2000 plus the 50-60 permanent self-sustaining jobs you can create, other than taxing, giving or lending public money sir?

Jul 28, 2013 6:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Texas_Aggie wrote:
If the Canadians are so adamant about not letting the pipeline go through their own country to their coast, why should we let it go through ours? The Canadians have seen what happens to the country around pipelines and they want no part of it. Why should we have monthly or weekly incidents like what happened in Arkansas?

ajsfca, you are aware, aren’t you, that jobs like teaching, fire fighting, food inspection, road construction, bridge construction, work place inspection, and similar jobs could be created if the right wing weren’t so adamant about not spending money? And once those jobs are created there are follow on jobs created by the otherwise unemployed people actually having money to spend. It isn’t as if our roads and bridges and electrical power distribution systems are all tickety-boo and can be left on their own for another 50 years.

Jul 28, 2013 9:10am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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