Friday, March 15, 2013

American Employment: Keystone XL vs Green Jobs

While much has been made of all the jobs that would be associated with the Keystone XL pipeline, the truth is that far more long term jobs would be created though green projects. Despite all the wild claims from the oil industry and their supporters, a State Department Report indicated that the Keystone XL pipeline will generate about 42,100 jobs in the construction phase but only 35 permanent jobs to operate the pipeline.

TransCanada, the builders of the Keystone XL claim the pipeline will boost the US economy and create more than half a million jobs. According to a study they commissioned in 2010, the construction of the pipeline would create 118,935 non-permanent jobs and an additional 553,235 permanent jobs due to the increased US oil supply.

A Cleantechnica article reviews the number of green jobs that could be generated all across the country form clean energy projects. According to a new report http://www.e2.org/jsp/controller?docId=31325 from the green business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) there are more than 300 new clean energy and transportation projects which will create 110,000 green jobs in the U.S. The difference between the Keystone XL and the green jobs are significant.

Unlike the Keystone pipeline jobs, many of these green jobs are permanent and renewable energy projects like solar and wind, as well as transportation projects advanced vehicle and trains offer far more than just jobs.

Clean energy is the future of power production and improved transportation networks reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

These projects will help move the US economy forward in meaningful ways that are in step with the realities we face. In addition to employment and economic benefits these projects would help to stave off climate change improve community well being and public health.

Perhaps most importantly green jobs do not light the fuse on a massive carbon bomb which is how some have described the tar sands oil that will flow through the Keystone XL pipeline.

The lack of long term jobs is far from the only problem associated with the pipeline. Refining tar sands oil also creates an additional environmental problem, a byproduct known as petcoke. Although the State Department report appeared to downplay the risks associated with the Keystone, the reality is that pipelines regularly leak, break and spill.

© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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Republicans Vow to Continue Push for Keystone
Conservative Confusion about the Role of Government in Support of Green Jobs
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