President Obama made waves this week as he defied his own State Department by claiming the Keystone Pipeline would only create 2,000 jobs, while chuckling at the thought of such a low number.
Manufacturers and millions of unemployed Americans aren’t amused by his dismissal of the jobs-creating potential of this project. In addition to the 20,000 construction jobs that the pipeline would create, tens of thousands of jobs would be created in the supply chain.
These are the manufacturers that make the steel, valves, compressor stations and heavy equipment necessary to make the pipeline become a reality. Numerous economic opportunities associated with the pipeline would benefit other manufacturers, laborers, small businesses and communities throughout and around Keystone’s supply chain. The President’s comments conveniently ignore these facts.
Now, two national fact-checking organizations have rated the President’s claims as false.
According to the Washington Post Fact-Checker, by ignoring State Department Estimates that the Keystone Pipeline could support over 42,000 jobs a year the President “seems to be signaling that even his own government does not produce the most realistic estimate that should be used by reporters.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-check site PolitiFact notes that the President “went out of his way to downplay” the jobs impact of this project, and when asked provided “no supporting evidence.” PolitiFact also points out that the “the construction process itself would create nearly twice as many jobs as the President said.”
Americans are frustrated with Washington’s inaction, and the debate surrounding the Keystone XL is a prime example of inexcusable bureaucracy and Washington misdirection. It’s time for the Administration to complete its review and approve the pipeline to put Americans back to work.