Politics

President Obama’s Estimate For Keystone XL Job Creation Called Into Question

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President Obama is facing come criticism after he downplayed the number of jobs that would be created by building the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. According to Obama, the pipeline, which would run from Canada-to-Texas, would add just 2,100 jobs.

This is what the president said during an interview with the New York Times.

“My hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline — which might take a year or two — and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.”

The Washington Post fact-checked Obama’s claim and ended up concluding that his estimate was probably fairly low.

“Predictions of possible jobs are always fraught with complications, guesstimates and fuzzy math, so they often should be taken with a grain of salt. No one really knows exactly how many jobs will be created. So maybe the president is right to be skeptical.

But the president shouldn’t pick and choose how he cites job-creation numbers. Perhaps he is tipping his hand on what he secretly thinks of the Keystone XL by citing a low-ball figure, generated by the pipeline’s opponents, but he should stick to using the official government estimate.  (His 2,000-job figure is actually slightly lower than the Cornell estimate.)

Otherwise, the president ironically seems to be signaling that even his own government does not produce the ‘most realistic’ estimate that should be used by reporters.”

Republicans were a little bit more critical of Obama’s estimate, Fox News reported.

“A president disparaging private-sector jobs while backstage at a jobs rally is beyond belief,” said Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, “The president’s own State Department reported that Keystone would support upwards of 40,000 jobs. In this economy, any source of private job creation should be welcomed with open arms. After nearly five years and 15,500 pages of review, there is no reason to delay these jobs another day. Republicans, Democrats, leading unions, and job creators all agree, it’s time to start building.”

Sources: Fox News, The Washington Post