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In promoting #KeystoneXL, Trump using #AlternativeFacts re job creation

January 24th, 2017 · No Comments

The Keystone XL pipeline debate has been a preeminent space for that old analytical adage of “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”.  Truly, the debate adds a fourth category: “Statistical Claims about KXL Job Creation“. While Republican politicians made claims sometimes over 1 million jobs and industry advocates regularly pontificated about 100,000, TransCanada came down to the creation of 13,000 temporary construction jobs (for two years), State Department analysis concluded roughly 5,000-6,000 jobs (over a three-year period), and independent analysis questioned whether even that number would be reached.  When serious systems analysis occurred, looking at potential impacts of gas price increases in the upper Midwest and other negative (such as due to pollution) implications, the results questioned whether — on net — there would be any US job creation.

Today, Trump reopened the Keystone XL battle with a (yet to be published) Executive Order (or perhaps a memorandum … things are murky at the moment) calling for a fast-track re-evaluation of the project.  In promoting this, Trump remained true to his inner core — blustering with #AlternativeFacts to gain support for the project. Trump trumpeting that the pipeline would create a “lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs, great construction jobs.” As Business Insider headlined this:  Trump claims the Keystone XL pipeline will create 7 times more construction jobs than it actually will.

The project would create approximately 3,900 construction jobs in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas during the one or two years it takes to build the pipeline, the report suggests.

That number is seven times less than the one Trump suggested earlier today …

The number of permanent employees the pipeline would require after construction ends is dismally low: just 35.

Just like Trump’s hands, in Trump’s mind, Keystone XL job creation will be YUGE!

Regretfully, this announcement has garnered some union support which repeats the erroneous job creation figures.  The Teamsters, actually, went higher than Trump: claiming 42,000 jobs or an order-of-magnitude higher than likely.

Now as for some context:


Reactions to Trump’s move include:


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Tags: #AlternativeFacts · KeystoneXL · Trump · Trump Administration