Recently during a debate with a conservative I asked a fairly straightforward and simple question, “Outside of tax breaks for the rich, name me one bill Republicans have supported that would directly create jobs?”
Their answer? The Keystone XL pipeline.
And I could see why they would think that. If you listen to Republicans talk about the pipeline project, it would create tens of thousands of jobs and help America become more “energy independent.”
Sounds great, right? There’s just one small problem with those claims: They’re basically complete lies.
Which is something House Speaker John Boehner knows. But that didn’t stop him from recently making the ridiculous claim that delaying the Keystone XL pipeline since 2008 is “costing Americans more than 100,000 jobs,” a claim Politifact rated as “False.”
Boehner said, “The nearly six-year delay in approving Keystone is costing Americans more than 100,000 jobs and nearly a million barrels of oil a day.”
Now, I can’t really comment about the “million barrels of oil a day” claim, but I do know that the oil that would be carried by the pipeline isn’t coming through the United States to make us energy independent. It’s going to be taken and sold on the global market to the highest bidder. Besides, it’s not American oil. It’s Canadian.
But as far as the claim of “100,000 jobs,” that’s complete nonsense.
Boehner pulled this off a 2011 study that even TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, calls irrelevant.
That study calculated “jobs” by year. For example, if they said 13,000 jobs, what they really meant was 6,500 jobs, each of which would last two years. Not 13,000 individual jobs.
They also assumed there would be spin-off jobs like restaurants and hotels.
The vast majority of these jobs would be temporary construction jobs that would vanish in a year or two.
Want to take a guess on how many permanent jobs the State Department estimates that the pipeline would create once it was finished?
Not 35,000 or 3,500 – 35 – with no zeros at the end.
That’s the big “job creator” Republicans have been pushing for these last six years. A project that threatens our environment, isn’t pumping our own oil, won’t do anything to help America become energy independent and will create a whopping 35 permanent jobs once completed.
And Republicans like John Boehner know they’re lying about this pipeline when they utter these kinds of blatant lies. But they don’t care. The entire Republican party is in bed with big oil. Republicans don’t even care if they ruin our planet, just as long as these big oil companies get what they want.