Senate Democrats, in a very weird bid to help Democrat Mary Landrieu’s reelection bid, allowed a vote on the mythologized Keystone XL pipeline yesterday. It failed by one vote.
And that’s a very Good Thing.
As I have written about before, the much-touted job creation promised by the pipeline’s ignorant or lying proponents, is wildly inflated:
Let’s take the first Big Lie: that the Keystone XL will create a job bonanza in the U.S. When TransCanada began pitching this boondoggle and environmental-disaster-waiting-to-happen, the Big Oil trade group the America Oil Institute (it’s an “institute” — that’s kinda like a university!) claimed that it would create — not kidding here — “21,000 jobs today to 465,000 jobs by 2035”. Day-um. Sign me up! Nearly a half million jobs?! Let the crude flow, boys!
Turns out TransCanada’s own projections were a bit more modest. They believe the pipeline will employ only 9,000 during the two years it will take to build it.
This week, we were shocked to hear the CEO of TransCanada admitting that it’s only going to create around 50 permanent jobs:
As Eclectablogger Charles Gaba so aptly put it, the number of Senators voting FOR the pipeline yesterday is actually more than the number of jobs it’s going to create in the long term:
— Charles Gaba (@charles_gaba) November 18, 2014
The fact is, the job number claims about this pipeline are all over the map. The more tied to Big Oil the person or group making the job claim is, the higher it is.
In my original piece, I also talked extensively (with actual proof) about the fact that the oil flowing through this pipeline isn’t going to be sold exclusively to Americans. It’s being shipped from Canada, over US soil, to refineries on the Gulf Coast where it will be sold on the international market. Anyone who tells you that it’s going to increase our energy independence and lower petroleum costs for Americans IS LYING TO YOU!
Here are a couple of other salient points:
- Much of the pipeline has actually already been built.
- Most of the steel for the pipeline has already been purchased. From India!
So, to sum up:
- By TransCanada’s own admission, only around 50 permanent jobs will be created by the Keystone XL pipeline.
- The dirty tar sands crude flowing through it from Canada to the Texas refineries won’t lower costs for Americans. In fact, in the Midwest through which this crude is ALREADY flowing, may see price INCREASES.
- The Keystone XL pipeline won’t make the USA less energy dependent on foreign oil.
- There won’t be a big burst of economic activity from the steel being purchased.
- Large portions of the pipeline are already built.
As I wrote before, the ugly, unspoken truth of the matter is that the Keystone XL pipeline is nothing more than a tax-free conduit through the United States to let Canadian oil producers get their crude oil to the export market in the Gulf of Mexico less expensively and without having to bear the environmental risks in their own country. In other words, that oil isn’t for USA, it’s for the global market. It will be refined in Port Arthur and shipped elsewhere at great (tax-free) profit.
The Senate did the right thing yesterday and President Obama’s indication that he will veto it if it hits his desk is an even better thing.
[CC photo credit: rickz | Flickr]