JOBS: Approving the Keystone XL will create up to 120,000 jobs for Americans.
False. Even the U.S. State Department concluded that only 3,900 direct jobs would be created during pipeline construction. Once the pipeline is built, the State Department estimated 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs -- 50 jobs total -- are all KXL will directly produce. Cornell University's Global Labor Institute reviewed the study -- paid for by TransCanada -- that claimed approval would create more than 100,000 jobs, and determined that its findings were unsubstantiated; that is, the claim had no factual basis. As an expert from the Natural Resources Defense Counsel noted, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than getting a KXL job. (Please note: The links for supporting evidence for items on this page are provided under the "Details" tab above.)
OUR ECONOMY: Keystone XL will pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
False. With a few thousand temporary jobs -- using cheap materials produced overseas and generating profits for foreign corporations -- KXL is likely to have a negligible impact on the U.S. economy, except where it actually raises fuel prices for American consumers. The likely tax benefits are minimal, because the pipeline terminates at what's known as a tax-free "Foreign Trade Zone." And, if KXL were approved, TransCanada would likely file for what's called a "Master Limited Partnership," after approval, which would relieve them of almost any remaining tax liability.
PRICE OF GAS: Keystone XL will lower fuel prices for Americans.
False. For many Americans, KXL would actually mean higher fuel prices. As Consumer Watchdog has documented, tar sands oil currently shipped to the Midwest sells for about $70 per barrel, which is much less than the $100 a barrel it gets on the open market. KXL would redirect oil from the glutted Midwest to the international market, yielding a higher profit for international oil companies but not less expensive oil for Americans.
SAFETY: Keystone XL is a safe way to transport tar sands oil across the country.
False. All pipelines leak, eventually. On average, 275 pipelines leak every year. And because tar sands oil is diluted with solvents and pumped at high temperature and pressure, it's more likely to cause leaks. As we've seen in Mayflower, Arkansas, and in the Kalamazoo River, tar sands spills are very difficult and extremely expensive to clean. If KXL is approved, it will cross the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest freshwater supply in the American heartland. A leak there could devastate America's agricultural base and disrupt the U.S. food supply. Plus, tar sands oil is exempt from corporations having to pay into the oil spill liability trust fund, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions in potential liability for spills.
ENERGY SECURITY: Keystone XL will greatly advance America's "energy security."
False. The main point of KXL is to take tar sands oil from Canada to the refineries on the Texas coast, with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico so oil tankers can ship the products to foreign countries. Alberta's Natural Resource minister has admitted that because the U.S. oil market is shrinking, "We have to go to Asia." Canadian oil companies are also pushing to build pipelines to Canada's eastern and western shores to ship it overseas.
CLIMATE: Keystone XL will not contribute to climate change.
False. The KXL would, in fact, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, as even the State Department concluded in its Environmental Impact Statement. The report estimates that KXL's projected added carbon emissions would be the equivalent of 300,000 more cars on the road. That report -- written by a contractor closely linked to TransCanada -- however, says the tar sands will be exploited with or without KXL being completed, and so the climate impact of approval should be ignored. NASA scientist James Hansen has said that if the tar sand oils are all burned it will be "game over" for climate change, for our planet.
NATIONAL SECURITY: Keystone XL will make the United States safer from foreign wars.
False. The U.S. Defense Department is preparing for potential global chaos if the climate changes that are underway continue to wreak havoc, and most scientists believe KXL will significantly contribute to those conditions. Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change "perhaps the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction." As climate change-related weather extremes contribute to flooding, drought, famine, and social unrest, the possibility of regional wars becomes more likely, and the Pentagon is getting ready for potential chaos resulting from climate change. That's just one of the reasons why America needs to move as quickly as possible toward greener alternative energy options.
POWER: There is nothing you can do about this because the Big Oil corporations are so powerful.
False. There is plenty you can do about it. If you concerned, and we are deeply concerned, you can do something. You can demand that the State Department reject the Keystone XL pipeline. You can join with other concerned people in standing up and speaking out. You can share our short film. You can demand that the people elected to represent you actually represent you and your interests rather than the international oil corporations, whose interests are not the same as yours and your family's.
Dave Saldana is an Emmy Award-winning journalist whose career includes MTV News, New York 1, and major-market local news production. His print work has been published in The Progressive, New Labor Forum, and Swindle. He has also written extensively for online publications like AlterNet, Yes!, and Huffington Post. Dave is also an attorney, with experience in civil rights, and labor and employment litigation, and has served as an officer in the National Lawyers Guild. He has combined these skills in advocacy communications with Media Matters for America, Free Press, the National Security and Human Rights Campaign, and United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). He presently serves as Senior Fellow to the Center for Media and Democracy.
Sandrine Orabona has worked professionally for over two decades as a director, producer, editor, and shooter to enhance her storytelling skills in the non-fiction genre. She has created long and short form branded content for clients such as AEG, Disney, Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, HBO, Mun2, CBS and MTV. She worked on behind-the-scenes material for films such as "The Good Shepherd," "The Bourne Identity," "The Village," and "Ocean's 12." She spent three years heading the team that produced the creative content for the first three installments of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" home video campaign. She was a key videographer in the Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It."
Alex Castino started his TV production career in NY working for MTV networks then moved out to LA to produce VH1's long-running series "Behind The Music." He parlayed that into a career as an independent videographer/editor working with huge artists such as Neil Diamond, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, Aerosmith, Rod Stewart, Slash, and so many others. Besides his independent career, he's worked on TV shows for CMT, E!, Bravo, and more.
Lisa Graves is the Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the publisher of ALECexposed.org, PRWatch.org, and SourceWatch.org, which has won major investigative journalism awards. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice and in other posts. She has appeared on MSNBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, BBC, Democracy Now, GritTV, RTV, CNN, FOX, and more; and her analysis has been cited in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, Wired, The Progressive, The Nation, In These Times, Mother Jones, Yes!, American Prospect, and other publications. She has also testified as an expert before both houses of Congress.
Dave Saldana is the Producer, Director, and Writer of the film. Sandrine Orabona is the Lead Videographer, and Alex Castino is the Lead Editor. Lisa Graves/Center for Media and Democracy is the Executive Producer of the film. Our film team includes Shanae Diewold-Paulus, Graphic Designer; Chris Martin, Studio Camera; and Martin Olson, Original Music. Our web team includes CMD's Pat Barden, Themer/Editor; Sari Williams, Graphic Design; Nikolina Lazic, Media Assistant; and Lisa Graves, Editor and Graphic Design. CMD's Mary Bottari, Friday Thorn, Rebekah Wilce, Nick Surgey, and Brendan Fischer are on social media outreach, with Rick Tvedt on finance.
This short film and website were 100% funded by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) Investigative Fund, 100% of which came from general support donations to CMD by people concerned about undue corporate influence on our democracy. CMD does not accept grants from corporations or government agencies. The film was also made possible through generous gifts of time by the film and editing crew who largely donated their talents in order to help expose the lies about the Keystone XL pipeline. If you'd like to help support the distribution of our film and future investigations, you can make a tax-deductible gift right now.
The film owes special thanks to the following for the use of clips from their efforts:
Here are the leading voices featured in the film and their websites where you can find more about their efforts against the KXL:
CMD's Executive Director, Lisa Graves, conceived of this research project to debunk the PR claims in support of the KXL. Since 1993, CMD has published its original investigative reporting at PRWatch.org. CMD also launched and fuels the award-winning investigation ALECexposed.org about the American Legislative Exchange Council -- where corporations vote as equals with legislators on "model" bills to change people's rights. CMD also co-produces StinkTanks.org. CMD also publishes a specialized wiki called SourceWatch.org, which includes CMD's influential exposés on Fix the Debt, Outsourcing America, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. SourceWatch also hosts CoalSwarm and FrackSwarm.
The fastest way to reach us about the film or this website is to use the email contact form below. You can also use this form to request a showing and discussion in your area. For press interviews, please contact Nikolina Lazic, CMD's Media Assistant, at 608-260-9713. You can send a letter or contribution to us by mail: 520 University Avenue, Suite 260, Madison, WI 53703. If you want to reach us about the evidence debunking the KXL lies, research links are available by clicking the "details" button at the top of this page, or by contacting us using the form below if you have additional questions. More important than reaching us, however, is reaching the State Department as soon as possible. If you have not yet submitted your comments about the Keystone XL, please say "No" to KXL right now.