Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot.

Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Granted, How Many Jobs Have Been Created?

After a 9-year debate, a permit has been granted for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will transport oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

On Friday, March 24, President Donald Trump approved the project that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had suspended in November 2015. However, while the President previously claimed that the project would give an estimated 28,000 jobs to Americans, a new report by the U.S. State Department claims the Keystone XL pipeline will create just 50 permanent jobs.

Shortly after the permit was granted, The Independent shared a report, claiming that despite the President’s steep estimate, there has been wide-spread confusion in regard to how many jobs would actually become available to citizens — and remain intact beyond the initial years of the project.

“As [President Donald Trump] signed the executive order, he boasted of 28,000, but the firm behind the operation has predicted 13,000 temporary construction jobs,” the outlet explained to readers.

Donald Trump speaks during a National Economic Council meeting.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a National Economic Council meeting. [Image by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images]

Meanwhile, a State Department spokesman told The Independent that the Keystone XL pipeline will “support about 42,100 jobs and that 50 permanent jobs, as per TransCanada’s bid for the permit, will be created to maintain it.” Of those permanent jobs, 35 would reportedly be full-time while 15 would be given to temporary contractors.

There has also been confusion in regard to how the pipeline would benefit the U.S.

“The [Keystone XL pipeline] will bring about $2.4 billion in revenue to Canada each year by helping the country’s oil-sands producers move 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day from land-locked Alberta to ports in Texas for exporting abroad,” Quartz Media explained to readers.

As for the U.S., the outlet claimed the long-term benefits are “less clear.”

Quartz Media added that for the first one to two years of the creation of the Keystone XL pipeline, there would likely be around 3,900 full-time positions available.

The Keystone XL pipeline will transport oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas, and while the project will open jobs for U.S. citizens, it has led to much concern among environmental groups. As The Independent explained, the groups claim the Keystone XL pipeline will allegedly encourage the use of “carbon-heavy tar sands oil which pump 17 percent more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than standard crude oil extraction” and could lead to catastrophic climate change.

Throughout the first couple of months of his presidency, Donald Trump has been motivated to keep jobs on U.S. soil, but when it comes to the steel being used to create the Keystone XL pipeline, The Independent claimed the materials would be sourced from Canada and Mexico in part. The outlet also noted that portions of the Keystone XL pipeline have already been built, but when it came to extending the project over the U.S.’s border with Canada, another State Department permit was required.

While the building of the Keystone XL pipeline has led to tons of controversy and protests in recent years, the granting of the permit on Friday has seemingly been overshadowed by the ongoing speculation and criticism over Trumps’ new healthcare bill, which will be voted on later in the day on Friday.

The White River weaves through the landscape near where the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would pass.
The White River weaves through the landscape near where the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would pass. [Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]

U.S. State Department undersecretary Tom Shannon was the one who officially signed off on the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

A short time later, the U.S. State Department spokesman released a statement, which read, “In making his determination that issuance of this permit would serve the national interest, the under secretary considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy.”

[Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]