To Infinity and Beyond: Keystone XL Champions Wildly Inflate Jobs Numbers

Domestic oil and gas production on federal lands is at an all-time high, creating roughly 75,000 jobs in the sector under the Obama Administration since 2009. That’s about 69,000 jobs more than would be created by Keystone XL, according to estimates from the State Department, Cornell University and the company building the pipeline, TransCanada.

That is a very inconvenient fact Keystone XL champions ignore when claiming Obama is trying to stop drilling for oil and gas. So what’s the best way to shift attention away from that ugly truth? Posture up, make up some fake jobs numbers, and then continually inflate those lies over time.

Media Matters just released a new compilation of “reporting” showing this predictable pattern of behavior in the television media. The claims from pundits get so absurd, even TransCanada has to weigh in to temper expectations:

6 Responses to To Infinity and Beyond: Keystone XL Champions Wildly Inflate Jobs Numbers

  1. Larry Gilman says:

    Should read “weigh in,” not “way in”.

  2. J. Bob says:

    It would appear that some there may be other forces at work here such as tax revenues, refinery capacity and labor union responses, as noted by the Wash. Examiner:

  3. I don’t get the ‘logic’ here. Is it OK to pollute the air, pollute the water, pollute the climate, if it’ll create “jobs”?

    — frank

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Keystone was just the warmup the real fight is to get rid of fossils entirely

    Natural Gas venting – a major Global Warming Contributor

  5. George Ennis says:

    This story has it all “wrong”. In Canada our governments and the stenographers in much of the media are reporting that job gains will be 100,000, 250,000 etc. In fact if we wait another month I think we will be able to show that the jobs created by the pipeline would solve unemployment in every OECD country.

    At its peak I doubt if the pipeline would create more than 10,000 construction jobs. As for permanent jobs perhaps 200 if even that.

  6. My understanding is that TransCanada, either intentionally or inadvertently, created the confusion. They used a term that I had never encountered before “job years.” That is, if three thousand temporary jobs were created and they lasted an average of three years, TransCanada would claim 9,000 “job years.”

    Thus, the 20,000 figure is bizarrely connected with TransCanada’s 6,500 figure which, translated into “job years” (assuming an average of about three years a job) gets us roughly to the 20,000 figure.

    Then, of course, sloppy journalists ignored the distinction between “job years” and “jobs.”

    A good report can be found here: It also notes that many of the jobs to be created would have been in Canada, not the U.S.