President Obama dismissed the Republican claim that the Keystone XL pipeline would do anything to lower unemployment in the country, calling the project a “blip” in terms of job creation in an interview with the New York Times published Saturday.
“Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator,” Obama told the Times. “There is no evidence that that’s true. The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two, and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people.”
Republican supporters of the pipeline have long said the project would be a major job creator. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce took out a full page ad in the New York Times last year, warning President Obama not to say “no” to “20,000 jobs,” an often-repeated number gleaned from the pipeline company’s estimates.
TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline company behind the Keystone XL, stood by its claim that 20,000 jobs would result from the project, the Canadian Press reported Sunday. Last year, a Cornell University study concluded the pipeline would create far fewer jobs than TransCanada’s figure. According to the study, very few jobs would be locally sourced, and over half of the steel used for the pipeline would be manufactured overseas.