Obama: The Keystone pipeline is “not a jobs plan,” you know
posted at 8:41 pm on July 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
So… is that kind of like how aggressively pushing for federal, i.e. taxpayer “investment” in public-sector infrastructure projects but actively blocking private-sector ones is “not a jobs plan”? Or, maybe it’s more along the basic lines of how more Keynesian stimulus, deficit spending, increased regulation, and top-down market interference is “not a jobs plan”? Yeah, I think that’s the one.
If they’ve got a better plan to bring back more manufacturing jobs here to Tennessee and around the country, then let them know — let me know. I want to hear them. If they’ve got a better plan to create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure or to help workers earn the high-tech skills that they need, then they should offer up these ideas. But I’ve got to tell you, just gutting our environmental protection, that’s not a jobs plan. Gutting investments in education, that’s not a jobs plan. They keep on talking about this — an oil pipeline coming down from Canada that’s estimated to create about 50 permanent jobs — that’s not a jobs plan. Wasting the country’s time by taking something like 40 meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare is not a jobs plan. That’s not a jobs plan.
Ah, yes — the oh-so-typical refrains of how Republicans just hate the environment and their only proffered solution is to simply slash at the government spending that our economy so obviously needs at its current and preferably an even higher level. The biggest takeaway from that perfidious little moment, however, was that the president doubled down on his claim that the Keystone XL pipeline will only create a handful of jobs — a claim that he knows full well takes some mighty conspicuous liberties with the truth.
In citing the 50-jobs number, though, the president was using the smallest possible number attached to the pipeline project. The estimate he used likely refers to a State Department finding that — after the pipeline is built — it would take roughly 50 people to maintain it.
But the comment ignores the rest of the State Department report that estimates the project would create nearly 4,000 annual construction jobs — and potentially “support” an annual 42,000 jobs.
Obama similarly ignored those findings during an interview he gave recently to The New York Times. In the interview, Obama said the project would create roughly 2,000 construction jobs and maybe 100 additional jobs after that — calling it a “blip relative to the need.”
Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post took President Obama to task for the claim as well, and I just can’t manage to get over the fact that not only has the Obama administration approved similar projects for oil-and-gas-pipelines elsewhere in the United States, but also that the president took the opportunity during his speech to also talk up natural gas as the great and cleaner-burning fuel that it is. If the president does indeed want to continue to foster the shale-gas boom and the jobs that come from domestic energy production, we’re going to need a lot more pipeline infrastructure — stat.