President Obama Blasts Ridiculous Republican Propaganda on Keystone XL Pipeline

obama-unemploymentWhile 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.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • The Reader

    I’ve always found it interesting that Canadian oil companies aren’t pushing the pipeline to cross their country. They could go east or west and find water from which to ship their oil, but no, they are fully aware of the negatives on such an venture so it’s better (for them) to send it the length of the U.S. There are enough naive Americans who will fall for the propaganda and support the action..

    • gramma

      we are fighting pipelines here in canada..both west and east. we are fightig multi-national corporations who control our oil..including the koch brothers. the oil they want to ship is called is a gooey ugly tar which in no way resembles conventional oil. it is a dirty climate killer and i urge all americans to stand behind your president on this issue.

      • sherry06053

        Thanks for the info. I already am against the pipeline in the country, but keep on fight, Canada!

      • strayaway

        Canadian company Enbridge has Canadian government approval to move 525,000 barrels of oil per day from near Edmonton straight west to the Pacific for shipping mostly to China. Indian tribes and other stakeholders along the way need to be settled with first though.

        Kinder Morgen, a US firm, is also expanding its Edmonton to Pacific Ocean capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 890,000 barrels of oil per day.

        Keystone has a design capacity of 830,000 barrels per day.

    • TeeDee

      It ‘is’ being pushed by certain Canadian interests to keep it in Canada. And there have been plans in place in case it gets rejected by the U.S. The Asians for example would love to see the pipeline go west from Alberta to the Pacific, while Energy East wants it to go to the Atlantic. I’m Canadian, by the way, and the majority of us don’t want the pipeline at all and are in full support of Americans who don’t want it either. I’m trying to read up as much as I can on the subject, but it can get confusing when the Republicans in the U.S. keep trying to convince people it would be a good thing for Americans, which is simply not true. And we’re being bs’d by interests here, as well…
      There is opposition from so many sources (the aboriginal tribes in western Canada have threatened to destroy any pipeline going that route and there is great opposition in some places in the east as well from environmental groups).
      Who knows what will end up happening, but I hope President Obama holds fast and doesn’t allow it into your country, and I hope we don’t build it either, but that seems unlikely. It would probably go east to St. Johns or somewhere in New Brunswick, possibly part of Quebec as well, but again, great opposition to all those choices. We’ll see…

      • The Reader

        I’m unhappy about the greed of oil companies that has made it necessary to protest against their indifference to both our countries. Thank you, Canadians, for being with us on this one, and thank you for letting us know of your challenge involving this issue. Your information supports our argument that the pipeline is damaging to our future and environment.

    • Christina McDonald

      As a canadian I have to say that I don’t want pipelines going in ANY direction, Including US. I would rather we rebury the oil sands and stop polluting the damn world but hey Steve Harper doesn’t listen to me.

  • Charles Vincent

    You want to get the word out about oil sands then use facts not fear, point them to USGS where you can find good information on exactly how nasty it is. If they want to produce it they need to do it on site and refine it as it comes out of the ground then ship it by rail that woulds mitigate potential environmental hazards.

  • klem

    I don’t care one bit if the oil comes from Canada, or wether it’s dirty or clean oil. I just want cheap gas for my truck.

    I hope they send down as much of their beautiful oil as they can. If it’s good enough to burn, I’m buying it.

    • Charles Vincent

      The problem isn’t lack of oil its lack of refinery capacity to meet demand. I want lower prices at the pump as well but i dont want to screw up pristine wilderness to do it there are alternatives and we need to look at them. Does your truck burn gas or diesel?

      • regressive white trash reli

        ^^^^ agreeing totally with ^^^ Charles here^^^

    • kristofer725

      Good grief I can’t believe you are so ignorant to the truth. Have you read nothing regarding the studies that have been done? If anything the gas for your truck will be whatever the market deems it to be. This is Canadian oil that is going to be shipped to the open market for whatever high price they can get. There are no pumps along the way to take out the oil for your truck. It’s been stated over and over again that gas will probably go up if the tar sands project goes through.

    • rossbro

      That oil W I L L be sold overseas, Klem. Not in the USA.

    • BB-Mystic

      Hmm. I don’t know if you meant to (although I imagine you did) but you’re certainly coming across as a selfish twit.

      “I just want cheap gas for my truck,” and to hell with the planet, and the future generations who will have to deal with the disaster we leave behind.

    • regressive white trash reli

      klem has a shotgun in his truck and a rebel flag flying

      • The Reader

        It sounds like it, doesn’t it?

  • conor1051

    As someone in the oil and gas industry (and a liberal, which makes me about about as common as a pink unicorn) the president is right, once the easements are bought and the pipeline are constructed which would be about 2-5 years of work, those jobs are no longer on that pipe, those workers would be looking for the next pipe that needs to be built… the ones that are permanent are ones who work for the company who owns the pipe (read Canadians). Also, to get into the industry it’s about who you know or previous experience in the industry so that would help me if I am ever looking but not someone out of college or someone who was just let go from a different industry. Also, in my opinion, we as a country need to stay focused on natural gas, because that’s the industry we have the upper hand in when it comes to natural deposits.