The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Business

March 14, 2013

Obama: Keystone XL pipeline not major jobs creator

WASHINGTON — Jobs numbers and other benefits touted by supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are probably exaggerated, President Barack Obama told House Republicans on Wednesday, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting.

But Obama did not rule out a decision to approve the $7 billion pipeline, according to participants.

Obama told Republicans at the Capitol that he’s still weighing a decision on the pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., said Obama appeared “conflicted” on the pipeline, saying that many of the promised jobs would be temporary and that much of the oil produced likely would be exported.

But Terry said Obama also indicated that dire environmental consequences predicted by pipeline opponents were exaggerated.

“He said there were no permanent jobs, and that the oil will be put on ships and exported and that the only ones who are going to get wealthy are the Canadians,” Terry said.

A White House spokesman said Wednesday no decision on the pipeline has been made.

Terry, who supports the long-delayed pipeline, said he wished Obama’s comments were less negative, but said he was still hopeful the project would be approved, a view echoed by Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., another pipeline supporter.

Scalise, who asked Obama about Keystone at the GOP meeting, said the president “made light” of jobs numbers predicted by supporters, including some who have predicted that the project could create as many as 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Obama said the pipeline “is not going to create as many jobs as you (Republicans) hope,” Scalise said.

Calgary-based TransCanada, which is proposing the pipeline, initially said it could create at least 20,000 jobs, including 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 jobs among suppliers and manufacturers. The company later clarified that the figures were for one person per year, based on a two-year construction timetable. The State Department has estimated the project would create about 5,000 to 6,000 jobs.

A draft environmental report released by the State Department this month said there would be no significant environmental impact to most resources along the proposed pipeline route, which goes through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. The report also said other options to get the oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries are worse for climate change.

State Department approval is needed because the project crosses a U.S. border.

On at least one aspect of the pipeline, Obama is “flat-out-wrong,” Terry said. While some oil is likely to be exported, the total is far less than a majority, Terry said. “That was disturbing to me,” he said.

 

1
Text Only
Business
Poll

A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
NDN Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive