Real job creation lies in power plant upgrades, not Keystone XL pipeline

Posted: Jan 5, 2012

Written by

The New York Times

The Republicans believe they have President Obama in a box: either he approves a controversial Canadian oil pipeline or they accuse him of depriving the nation of jobs. Mr. Obama can and should push back hard.

The payroll tax cut bill, which Mr. Obama signed last month, gave him 60 days to decide on the Keystone XL pipeline. That is not enough time to complete the required environmental review of a project that, in its present design, crosses ecologically sensitive territory and risks polluting an aquifer critical to Midwestern water supplies.

The Republicans’ claim that the pipeline will create tens of thousands of new jobs — 20,000 according to House Speaker John Boehner and 100,000 according to Jon Huntsman — are wildly inflated. A more accurate forecast from the federal government, one with which TransCanada, the pipeline company, agrees, says the project would create 6,000 to 6,500 temporary construction jobs at best, for two years.

The country obviously needs more jobs. Mr. Obama needs to lay out the case that industry, with government help, can create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs without incurring environmental risks — by upgrading old power plants to comply with environmental laws, retrofitting commercial and residential buildings that soak up nearly 40 percent of the country’s energy (and produce nearly 40 percent of its carbon emissions) and promoting growth in new industries like wind and solar power and advanced vehicles.

Read more opinion on the Keystone XL pipeline.

VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE


Copyright © 2017 Red Lodge Clearinghouse. All rights reserved.