Sen. Bernie Sanders is telling the American people what the supporters of Keystone XL don’t want them to hear. The pipeline won’t create jobs, but it will cause the price of gas to increase in the United States.
When people tell you that Keystone is a jobs program, they’re not telling you the truth. According to the State Department, it will create about 2,000 temporary construction jobs over a two-year period, and then about fifty permanent jobs. If you want a jobs program, let’s rebuild our crumbling infrastructure Invest a trillion dollars into doing that, and create 13 million jobs, not 2,000 jobs.
This oil, at least a significant part of this oil is going to be exported to Asia. In fact, there are at least three different studies, including one at Cornell, which suggest that because of the refinery infrastructure, domestic prices will actually go up. So here we are doing something which will exacerbate climate change, will create a minimal amount of jobs, will enrich the companies that own the oil fields and who do the refining, and at the same time, raise gas prices in the United States. This does not make a lot of sense to me.
Media Matters reported in 2012, that the Keystone XL pipeline could increase gas prices in the Midwest, “Because the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline would relieve the current glut of oil in the Midwest, some energy analysts believe it would raise gasoline prices there. Energy expert Severin Borenstein told Media Matters: ‘If anything it will raise gas prices slightly in the Midwest by relieving the bottleneck on getting oil out of that area.’ Canadian economist Andrew Leach agreed, saying: ‘Long term, it’s probably close to a wash, but if anything, it’s a small increase from eliminating the crude glut in the Midwest.'”
The Cornell report mentioned by Sen. Sanders went further and claimed that gas prices could increase by 10-20 cents a gallon, “KXL will divert tar sands oil from Midwest refineries to refineries in the Gulf Coast where the oil will sell for a higher price. Tar Sands oil will also be available for export to countries like China where the demand for oil is growing rapidly. TransCanada states that KXL will increase the price of heavy crude oil in the Midwest by almost $2 to $4 billion annually. Top energy economists believe Midwestern consumers may end up paying 10 – 20 cents more for a gallon of gas as a result of tar sands oil being diverted to refineries in Texas. Just one year of fuel price increases as a result of KXL could cancel out some or all of the jobs created by KXL, based on the $3- $4 billion budget.”
The same report also found that KXL won’t be a job creator, “Only 10-15% of the total KXL workforce is expected to be hired locally. Based on information provided by TransCanada to the State Department, a state-by-state jobs breakdown reveals that Keystone XL will create very few jobs in the states along the pipeline (e.g., 6-18 jobs in Kansas; 90-248 jobs in Nebraska; and 41-113 jobs in Oklahoma). Plus, these construction jobs will disappear after the completion of the project.”
Sen. Sanders was right. Keystone XL won’t create jobs. Most of the oil is going to be shipped to Asia. The pipeline will raise the price of gas for many Americans, and the profits will go to the oil companies, not the American people.
The things that Republicans and some Democrats are saying in order to promote Keystone XL are lies. Keystone XL would be a giant gift to the oil companies while the American people would assume all of the burden and risk.
Bernie Sanders is exposing the KXL in an attempt to prevent the American people from being swindled by Big Oil. Keystone XL is another example of what we can expect from the Republican controlled Congress that is always going to put the interests of corporations and the wealthy first, second, and last on their agenda.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association