While there are clearly much bigger issues about which Republicans have acted absurd, the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline still ranks near the top of the absurdity list. This whole thing baffles me. For years Republicans have been trying to sell this project as some big “job creator” that’s going to help the United States become more energy independent.
Which sounds great, except none of that is true.
And while it’s true that the project will create a few thousand temporary jobs, once it’s completed it will only maintain around 30-50 permanent jobs. This “job creation” lie often pushed by Republicans has been debunked several times by fact checking organizations.
Then let’s get to the glaring reality behind all of this: This is not American oil.
What this pipeline will do is take Canadian oil down to the Gulf coast to be sold on the global market at whatever rate oil happens to be going for at the time. It’s amazing to me how millions of Americans have gotten behind this pipeline when it’s essentially nothing more than a Canadian oil company using the United States as a conduit for selling its oil.
Well, during his last press conference of 2014 President Obama blasted a lot of this Republican rhetoric about this project.
“That oil currently is being shipped out through rail or trucks and it would save Canadian oil companies, and the Canadian oil industry enormous amounts of money if they could simply pipe it all the way down to the Gulf. It’s very good for Canadian oil companies, and it’s good for the Canadian oil industry but it’s not going to be a huge benefit to U.S. consumers, it’s not even going to be a nominal benefit to U.S. consumers,” Obama said.
“I think there has been this tendency to really hype this thing as some magic formula to what ails the U.S. economy and it is hard to see on paper where they are getting that information from,” the president added.
Again, spot-on. The truth is, this pipeline will do absolutely nothing for the U.S. economy – because it’s hardly going to create any jobs and will be shipping Canadian oil to be sold on the global market.
This is one of the few topics I really find it difficult to keep my cool on.
Honestly, how many jobs do conservatives think it takes to run and maintain a pipeline? The reason why these oil companies like these things is because they’re cost-effective and require very little manpower to run and maintain.
But to hear Republicans talk about this pipeline (Mitch McConnell said passing it will be his top priority when the new Congress takes over next month) you would think this thing was going to create tens of thousands of jobs, drop unemployment by a half percent and keep gas prices below $2 a gallon for a decade.
It’s been absolutely ridiculous.
And with Republicans seizing control of the Senate here in a few weeks, I can assure you that the propaganda about this project will only get worse.
Thankfully President Obama stood up and said what he did. Though I have very little hope that reality and common sense will ultimately win out when it comes to this. I’m almost certain that if President Obama wants to get anything at all accomplished these next two years, he’s going to have to approve this pipeline.
Either way, following these recent comments by the president, the coming battle should be quite interesting.