What You Should Know About Keystone Pipeline
Bane or Savior of the Trump Administration, the President Must Address Greenhouse Gases with Respect to the Keystone XL
In March, President Trump approved the development of the Keystone XL Project, a 1,200-mile-long pipeline delivery system that will push Alberta tar sand oil from Hardisty, Alberta, across the US/Canadian border, through Montana and South Dakota, to Steele City, Nebraska. The Keystone XL pipeline will allow TransCanada to sell oil in both North America and abroad.
“It’s going to be an incredible pipeline, the greatest technology known to man or woman,” Trump touted after signing the bill. The pipeline will also help stabilize fuel prices and provide new jobs in the U.S., according to TransCanada.
The numbers from proponents of the pipeline are staggeringly different than those of opponents. Five-thousand new jobs; twenty-thousand; 250,000 jobs once construction begins; even half a million jobs would be created by the Keystone XL, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
Not Everyone Convinced Keystone XL’s Job Production Justifies Environmental Impact
But the Trump Administration and TransCanada have come under heavy fire by opponents of the project who claim that Keystone XL will set back clean and alternative fuel technologies for decades and irreparably damage the environment both during and after construction.
Additionally, opponents say that fewer temporary jobs will be created than TransCanada and the Trump administration claim. CNN, Business Insider, MSNBC and The Hill all report similar numbers, estimating that only about 16,000 to 42,000 employees will be required for construction. And the same time, opponents claim far fewer permanent jobs will be created than one would expect – “The number of permanent employees the pipeline would require after construction ends are dismally low: just 35.”
The National Wildlife Federation does not believe the numbers either: “Backers like API and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are making KXL seem like the best infrastructure project since the interstate highways were built, capable of single-handedly lifting our country out of recession. But, according to the only independent analysis (by Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute), these claims don’t hold water. The fact is, TransCanada’s job claims are complete fabrications.”
Whose Numbers to Believe?
Analysts with no skin in the game seem to find that the Trump Administration’s numbers may not be so far off. In an independent study by the Perryman Group, according to Forbes Magazine, “Their study predicted that anywhere from 250,348 to 553,235 spin-off jobs would be created.”
The Trump Administration Has Two Options With Respect to GHG
Opponents and proponents of the Keystone XL are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Determining whose data is certain is confounding, to say the least. But, one thing is clear – if the Trump Administration and TransCanada have any interest in improving public perception of the pipeline, they need to take steps to show they care about the environment.
While crossing both public and private lands is an inevitability and wildlife migration patterns are sure to be affected, the biggest concerns stem from the potential increase of greenhouse gases (GHG). Some predict that for every gallon produced by the Keystone XL, petroleum fuel consumption will increase by .06% as a result of lower oil prices.
True or not, the Trump Administration could soften public perception by taking immediate steps to protect the world from global warming, the spawn of GHG, by taking immediate steps during construction of the pipeline.
Reducing GHG emissions during construction requires one of two solutions: use less machinery — an absurd proposal — or make the machines run more efficiently with respect to fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Rentar Fuel Catalyst can cut GHG emissions by up to 19.2 percent. The Trump Administration and TransCanada need to show they are serious about reducing GHG.