Since President Obama’s speech in June addressing the issue of climate change, pundits, citizens, and industry leaders have awaited the president’s decision on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. The project would bring diluted bitumen from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada all the way across the US and down into the Gulf of Mexico. Debates have raged over its impact on global warming, the economy, and environmental safety. In a recent interview with The New York Times, the President expressed doubts over one of the main arguments for the pipeline – namely that it would create more jobs.

keystone xl pipeline, protests, tar sands, white house, activists, climate change

The President told the New York Times that “Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true. 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 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people.” He also added that the 2,000 positions would be “a blip relative to the need.” Mr. Obama noted that the project would not lower gas prices, and could possibly even raise their cost.

Unfortunately for the political and global climate, the President stopped short of outright opposition of the pipeline. He stated that he would evaluate the Keystone XL pipeline based upon its environmental impact. Meanwhile, the State Department conducted a study last March showing that the pipeline would have little environmental impact – a claim that the EPA contested by asking for a more detailed study. As the federal government debates amongst itself, people around the world have joined forces with non-profits and local organizations to put pressure on the administration to reject the construction of the pipeline.

+ The New York Times

Via The Guardian

Images via Wikicommons users chesapeakeclimate and SGT Laura Buchta.