PipeLIE: JOBS. Approving the Keystone XL will create up to 120,000 jobs for Americans.
No: Even the U.S. State Department concluded that only 3,900 short term jobs would be directly 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.
PipeLIE: THE ECONOMY. Keystone XL will pump billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
No: 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.
PipeLIE: PRICE OF FUEL. Keystone XL will lower fuel prices for Americans.
No: 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.
PipeLIE: SAFETY. Keystone XL is a safe way to transport tar sands oil across the country.
No: 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, Oil Change International has documented, tar sands oil is exempt from corporations having to pay in to the oil spill liability trust fund, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions in potential liability for spills.
PipeLIE: ENERGY SECURITY. Keystone XL will greatly advance America’s “energy security.”
No: The main point of KXL is to take tar sands oil from Canada to the refineries on the Texas coast and 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.
PipeLIE: CLIMATE. Keystone XL will not contribute to climate change.
No: 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 its 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 the pipeline 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.
PipeLIE: NATIONAL SECURITY: Keystone XL will make the United States safer from foreign wars.
No: 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 one of the reasons why America needs to move as quickly as possible toward greener alternative energy options.
PipeLIE: POWER. There is nothing you can do about this because the Big Oil corporations are so powerful.
No: 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 with your friends and family. 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.