TransCanada Corp. today provided more details on the number of jobs U.S. construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would create. 13,000! No wonder President Obama's unjustified delay in the pipeline has emerged as a top issue in Washington, D.C., the rest of the United States, and Ottawa, as well.
From TransCanada's news release, "TransCanada Releases Detailed Keystone XL Job Creation Data":
The $7 billion oil pipeline is the largest infrastructure project on the books in the U.S. right now. It would create 20,000 jobs: 13,000 in construction, 7,000 in manufacturing.
-- Construction of the 1,600 mile pipeline is broken down into 17 U.S. pipeline spreads or segments, with 500 workers per spread - that's 8,500 jobs
-- Keystone XL also needs 30 pump stations worth tens of millions of dollars. Each station requires 100 workers - that's 3,000 jobs. Add another 600 jobs that would be needed for the six construction camps and tank construction at Cushing, Oklahoma
-- A project of such magnitude needs construction, management and inspection oversight - that would create 1,000 jobs, bringing the overall Keystone XL total to 13,000 direct, on-site jobs.
See also The Canadian Press, "TransCanada steps up Keystone XL publicity campaign with detailed job estimates."
Sen. Richard Lugard (R-IN) was chief sponsor of the legislation passed by Congress in December to compel President Obama to make a decision on the Keystone project within two months. In a letter last Friday, Jan. 6, to President Obama, the Senator added a powerful national security argument to the economic case for completing the pipeline. Excerpt:
Consider some of the flashpoints in major oil supplying countries during the 1,205 days that indecision on Keystone XL have prevailed: Iranian threats against oil shipments and the U.S. Navy; war in Libya; hostilities in Iraq; Venezuelan antagonism; violence in Nigeria; political unrest in Russia; strained relations with Saudi Arabia; and the ongoing threat of terrorism against energy infrastructure in multiple regions.
In contrast, the only uncertainty in oil trade with Canada has been the U.S. indecision over Keystone XOL. The delay has caused the Canadian government to openly question whether the U.S. is a reliable market and whether it should devote new oil capacity to supplying China’s voracious appetite for energy.
As if to prove Lugar's point, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is touring the anti-U.S. bloc in Latin America this week, stopping in the aforementioned Venezuela and Ecuador (as well as Nicaragua and Cuba).
The Hill has a good piece on the Canadian debate, in this case Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline to the Pacific that would make the Alberta oil accessible to Asian markets, "Gloves come off in another oil sands pipeline battle," noting that "Canada’s natural resources minister Joe Oliver released an 'open letter' Monday, the eve of public hearings on Enbridge Inc.’s proposed pipeline, that seeks to discredit [anti-energy] activists..." But Canada is also considering piping the product of the oil sands east to existing refineries. From The Edmonton Journal, "Should Alberta look east to ship its oil?"
Sending more Alberta crude to eastern refineries, then shipping it across the Atlantic — where there is already lots of tanker traffic — could mean better prices for the product. From the East Coast, tankers could carry the oil to booming Asian markets through the Panama Canal.
Even if the oil wasn’t sent offshore, it could replace the millions of barrels that Eastern Canada relies on from Venezuela and the North Sea.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a visionary leader in Canada, seeking to bolster the country's economy and global trade through energy development.
Finally, this piece by Toronto Globe-and-Mail columnist Margaret Wente notes the differences in approach between the federal leaders in Canada and the United States. From "Seeking pipeline common sense":
Unlike Barack Obama, Mr. Harper won’t let domestic opposition influence his decision. No prime minister would. The economic case is so compelling that any government in power would support it. A thirsty world wants our oil, and the more efficiently we can get it to them, the better. And better access to markets could add $131-billion to Canada’s economy by 2030, according to a study by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. That includes more than $27-billion that would go to governments in taxes and royalties. “The rewards of additional pipelines for all of Canada are too great to ignore,” says the institute’s Michal Moore. “Pipelines must be a national priority.”
Canada is hardly unique in the battles over new and unconventional forms of energy. Discoveries of shale oil are fuelling an energy boom in job-hungry states across the U.S. – and also a firestorm of controversy. The truth is, no form of energy extraction is risk-free. The trick is to find the level of risk that’s politically acceptable, and hope to avoid nasty surprises. No one wants a tanker spill. But all that money could help improve a lot of native schools.
And, for the United States, create 13,000 jobs.
Motion to proceed to consideration of S. 744, #immigration bill, passes Senate by 84-15. Getting right into amendments.
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