Cornell Global Labor Institute Professors, Lara Skinner and Sean Sweeney, released a report in 2012, examining the job impact of TransCanada Corporation’s Keystone XL pipeline. The report concludes that projections of jobs created by the pipeline are overstated.
Skinner and Sweeney say:“As Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, pushes leaders in both parties to vote to approve the Keystone XL pipeline this week, a Cornell Global Labor Institute report raises a number of questions regarding the jobs claims promoted by TransCanada Corporation, the American Petroleum Institute and other proponents of the pipeline. These questions are serious enough to generate a high level of skepticism regarding the value of this pipeline as an important source of American jobs.
The company’s claim that Keystone XL will create 20,000 direct construction and manufacturing jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect and induced jobs in the U.S. is unsubstantiated.
According to TransCanada’s own data supplied to the State Department, the project will create no more than 2,500 to 4,650 temporary, direct construction jobs for two years. Once constructed, the pipeline will create only 35 permanent jobs. Since the southern portion of Keystone XL – from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Texas Gulf Coast – has already been built, the job estimates for Keystone XL are now even lower.
The U.S. State Department’s analysis of the project in January 2014 confirmed that TransCanada Corporation and other proponents of the pipeline have vastly overstated the number of jobs that will be created by Keystone XL. The State Department also confirmed that only 10 to 15 percent of the total Keystone XL workforce will be hired locally.
It is the Global Labor Institute assessment that the construction of KXL will create far fewer jobs in the U.S. than its proponents have claimed and may actually destroy more jobs than it generates. TransCanada and the American Petroleum Institute’s job projections also fail to consider the large number of jobs that could be lost by construction of KXL. Pipeline spills, pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions incur significant human health and economic costs, thus eliminating jobs.