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Proposed pipeline could cost jobs, not create them

Fri, 09/30/2011 - 2:10pm

Proposed pipeline could cost jobs, not create them

Claims of job creation by the TransCanada Corp. Keystone XL Pipeline are inflated at best and misleading at worst, according to a new report by the ILR Global Labor Institute (GLI) posted on its website.

The report, "Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL," notes that the project may actually kill more jobs than it creates.

The proposed pipeline would transport oil extracted from Canadian tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. The U.S. Department of State is reviewing the proposal and, along with President Obama, must determine if the project is in the national interest.

"This report questions the jobs claims promoted by TransCanada Corp., the American Petroleum Institute and other proponents of the pipeline. The report's findings should generate a high level of skepticism regarding the value of the Keystone pipeline as an important source of American jobs," said Sean Sweeney, GLI director. "It is GLI's assessment that the construction of Keystone XL will create far fewer jobs in the U.S. than its proponents have claimed and may actually destroy more jobs than it generates."

For example, job projections by TransCanada and the American Petroleum Institute fail to consider the large number of jobs that could be lost. Midwest consumers could lose jobs due to paying 10 to 20 cents more per gallon of gasoline and diesel fuel, as Keystone diverts oil from refineries in the Midwest to the Gulf region.

"The company's claim that Keystone XL will create 20,000 direct construction and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is unsubstantiated," said Lara Skinner, GLI associate director of research. "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 U.S."

The report is available at: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/globallaborinstitute.

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