Thousands of New Pipeline Jobs? Those Are Temporary

The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines would need fewer than 100 permanent jobs

The pipeline projects that President Donald Trump moved forward with executive actions on Tuesday will create thousands of construction jobs for a year or two. Fewer than 100 permanent jobs will be created, according to U.S. government figures.

The Dakota Access pipeline would create 8,200 to 12,000 temporary jobs, but only 40 permanent ones, according to Dakota Access LLC, the company behind the pipeline, the Brookings Institution reported last year. The pipeline, which prompted a standoff by members of the Standing Rock Sioux over what they say would damage cultural sites, would run from North Dakota’s Bakken formation to Illinois.

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A State Department analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline found that 3,900 construction jobs would be created while it was being built or 1,950 a year if it took two years to finish. 

The analysis, done in 2014, also found that an additional 42,100 jobs could be created for companies supplying concrete, earth-moving equipment and other goods and by services provided to the workers, such as food and construction camps.

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TransCanada Corp., the company building the pipeline, disagreed with the construction numbers, putting the figure at 9,000, according to a primer prepared by in 2014. The corporation agreed with the 42,100 figure for total employment, noted.

Fifty workers would be required to operate the pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline would run 1,179 miles from the Canadian province of Alberta to Nebraska, where it would connect existing pipelines to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

In a statement, TransCanada said it was preparing a new application for the pipeline.

"KXL creates thousands of well-paying construction jobs and would generate tens of millions of dollars in annual property taxes to counties along the route as well as more than $3 billion to the U.S. GDP," it said.

The Obama administration denied a permit for the Dakota Access pipeline late last year and rejected the Keystone XL pipeline in November 2015. Then Army Corps of Engineers under former President Barack Obama said it would look for alternative routes after protests by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Obama said that approving the Keystone XL pipeline would undercut American leadership in fighting climate change. 

Trump said he would seek to renegotiate the terms of the construction of both pipelines.

"From now we are going to start making pipelines in the United States," Trump said from the Oval Office on Tuesday.

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