Leaders from the Republican Party visited with President Obama and of course the Keystone XL pipeline came up in conversation.

Various reports of what the President said or did not say started to hit blogs and newspapers and twitter.

President Obama knows the reality of this pipeline means 35 permanent jobs and an export pipeline that only makes Canada (and their investors) a ton of money.

The State Department’s Environmental Impact Study (page ES-14) reported that the tarsands pipeline would create only 35 jobs, and that most of the oil would be exported to foreign countries.

Per the Associated Press, Obama told attendees, including Rep. Terry and Rep. Fortenberry, that Keystone XL would create “no permanent jobs, and that the oil will be put on ships and exported and that the only ones who are going to get wealthy are the Canadians.”

In Nebraska, we know this risky export pipeline is all risk and no reward, or as our guys would say “all hat and no cattle.”

Oil Change International released a report that backs up the facts behind this export pipeline.

The Keystone XL tarsands pipeline is simply not in the national interest. The President has a choice to stand with Randy and all the landowners like him or to stand with an export pipeline and all the Canadian investors looking for a fast buck on the backs of hardworking farmers and ranchers.

Background on Exports:

Oil Change report on export nature of Keystone XL: http://priceofoil.org/2013/03/14/keystone-xl-refineries-already-exporting-60-percent-of-their-gasoline/

The majority of products from the refineries (one that is owned by Saudi Arabia) that would process Keystone XL oil are already being exported to foreign markets.

60% of gasoline produced in 2012 at Gulf Coast refineries was exported, according to government data.

The changing dynamics of the U.S. oil market strongly suggest that exports would only rise over the lifetime of the Keystone XL pipeline, having the United States as the main customer means they have to discount their oil.

Gulf Coast refineries export over 95% of their produced petcoke– a dirty coal substitute that is a byproduct of refining heavy oil like tarsands.

Background on Jobs:

The 35 jobs figure is in the Exec. Summary: http://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/documents/organization/205719.pdf

From State Dept. Exec. Summary: “Generally, the largest economic impacts of pipelines occur during construction rather than operations. Once in place, the labor requirements for pipeline operations are relatively minor. Operation of the proposed Project would generate 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs, primarily for routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Based on this estimate, routine operation of the proposed Pipeline would have negligible socioeconomic impacts.”

TransCanada and Republicans continue to claim that construction of KXL will create 20,000 direct construction jobs and “hundreds of thousands” (sometimes they say 40k, 100k and even 1 million) indirect and induced jobs. 

The inflated and false job figures are based on a study paid for by TransCanada done by the Perryman group (and then repeated by Nebraska consultant) which has been refuted by economist. The Perryman group will not release their economic model of how they got to such inflated numbers.

The State Department figures, based on TransCanada’s own numbers, show that at the most 3,900 temporary/2-year, construction jobs will be created. 

The latest SEIS also calculates that only 10% of the total workforce will be hired locally. 

All of the State Dept. figures (i.e. roughly 3-4k two-year jobs, 35 permanent jobs and 10% of the jobs for locals) are backed up by the one time we have TransCanada on the record from their first pipeline in SD which is essentially the same size pipeline so one can say the same job figure would be for KXL: http://plainsjustice.org/files/TCResponse_DiscRqst20_SDLabor.pdf

Politifact called TransCanada’s economic numbers “false.”

Washington Post gave TransCanada’s economic numbers “two Pinocchios.”

Media Matters broke down how Fox News, Members of Congress (R/D-Big Oil) and other industry allies keep inflating the numbers every time they open their mouth.

Cornell University tore the TransCanada numbers apart back in 2011.

Council on Foreign Relations called the economic numbers “dead wrong.”

University of Nebraska asks key questions in a paper they issued on the economic numbers.

Background on Timeline:

While this is not an official timeline from the US State Department, there are rules and regulations the process must follow and this is our best estimate for when a final decision might be issued. The US Congress might try to shorten this timeframe, although it is very unclear if they have legal standing to make any changes.

March 1: Draft SEIS is issued by State

March 8: Comment periods begins

Date TBD: Nebraska Hearing (date and location not announced yet)

April 22: 45-day Comment period closes (also Earth Day)

June 22: State Department releases Final SEIS – 90 day National Interest Determination (NID) starts (assuming relatively aggressive two months preparing time)

September 22: State Department finishes NID process, issues draft permit decision to coordinating agencies, which have 15 days to disagree with State’s proposed decision

October 7: Presidential Permit decision issued (one we belive will be denial since this export pipeline is not in our national interest)