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Keystone Pipeline Will Create Thousands Of Jobs, But How Many Will Be Permanent?

Keystone Pipeline Will Create Thousands Of Jobs, But How Many Will Be Permanent?
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The Trump administration has approved completion of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project, authorizing TransCanada Corporation (USA) (NYSE: TRP) to go ahead with the construction of the pipeline in the Phillips County, Montana, along the U.S.-Canadian border.

That said, doubts have been raised concerning the kind of job opportunities presented by the project.

Finally, Oil Might Begin To Flow...

The pipeline is meant to transport crude oil from the tar sands of Canada to Nebraska. In Nebraska, it would connect with other pipelines that would then go toward the Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline is said to be laid along a length of 900 miles and would cost $8 billion.

The presidential permit was issued by the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr., as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier recused himself, given his previous position at Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM).

The Under Secretary, it was revealed, has considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy.

The pipeline construction had already begun and it was only the work across the border that needed approval from the U.S. authorities. The pipeline would transport 800,000 barrels of oil per day, which is over one-fifth of the magnitude of oil Canada exports to the United States, according to data mentioned in a report by the Independent.

Environmental Groups At Loggerheads

Meanwhile, environmental groups have taken up cudgels against the permit, given the fact that the project furthers the interest of fossil fuels, which in turn are capable of inflicting irreparable damage on the environment through a host of ways, including climate change.

"The dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline is one of the worst deals imaginable for the American people, so of course Donald Trump supports it. This project has already been defeated, and it will be once again. The project faces a long fight ahead in the states," Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune was quoted as saying to ABC News.

"We're living in what feels to be the worst version of Groundhog Day imaginable, as every morning we're waking up to yet another decision made by Trump that would be disastrous for our climate, our communities, and our health — but Trump will not succeed."

The pipeline, according to the Independent, would transport a kind of crude oil sourced from carbon-heavy tar sands, which would let out 17 times more greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere than the standard crude oil.

False Promises On Jobs?

Even as Trump is backtracking on his pledge that steel used in the project would be manufactured domestically, concerns are being expressed about the veracity of the President's claim that the oil pipeline project would produce 30,000 jobs during construction.

The bulk of jobs created by the project will be open during the construction stage, while only 35 positions are to be permanent. This was confirmed by TransCanada's CEO Russ Girling, who said in a 2014 interview with ABC News. "Yes, the actual operating jobs are about 50," Girling said. "But that doesn't include all the other jobs that come with it."

The State Department assesses that about 50 operational jobs would be created, with 35 full-time positions, while the remaining 15 positions would be contracted jobs.

This may end up being another example of promising the moon and under-delivering. As the predicament surrounding the Keystone Pipeline project continues, the true employment-based, long-term implications of the project will be weighed against the controversial matters surrounding it.

Related Links:

2 Possible Paths For The Dakota Access Pipeline

Why Trump's $1 Trillion 10-Year Infrastructure Plan Will Only Provide $200 Billion In Stimulus

Image Credit: "Donald Trump signs orders to green-light the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines" By Office of the President of the United States - here, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: ABC News Donald TrumpNews Commodities Politics Economics Markets General Best of Benzinga


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