Advocates of the pipeline have pressed the case that thousands of shovel-ready jobs are being delayed by the administration’s inaction, with House Republicans including a shortened timeline for a permit in legislation extending the payroll tax cut.
By some accounts, the number of jobs that would be created could be as many as 150,000. But the State Department in August put the number of construction jobs at just 5,000 to 6,000.
TransCanada’s initial estimate of 20,000 — which it said includes 13,000 direct construction jobs and 7,000 jobs among supply manufacturers — has been widely quoted by lawmakers and presidential candidates.
[TransCanada chief executive Russ] Girling said Friday that the 13,000 figure was “one person, one year,” meaning that if the construction jobs lasted two years, the number of people employed in each of the two years would be 6,500. That brings the company’s number closer to the State Department’s; State says the project would create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs, a figure that was calculated by its contractor Cardno Entrix.
Opponents and proponents of the project have also disagreed over whether as many as 7,000 indirect supply chain jobs will be created. (That’s the rest of TransCanada’s 20,000 figure.) Much of that figure depends on where steel pipe will be fabricated, with opponents claiming that many of the jobs will actually be outside the United States.
But the biggest stretch in all of these figures is the biggest number: the 118,000 “spin-off” jobs that supposedly would be created from building the pipeline.
Among the list of jobs that would be created: 51 dancers and choreographers, 138 dentists, 176 dental hygienists, 100 librarians, 510 bread bakers, 448 clergy, 154 stenographers, 865 hairdressers, 136 manicurists, 110 shampooers, 65 farmers, and (our favorite) 1,714 bartenders.
They forgot all the jobs created if the pipeline bursts and there’s a huge environmental disaster. That will create jobs for cleanup crews, environmental engineers, lawyers… These cleanups are paid mostly with government funding, though, which means socialism. So the Republicans are pushing for a socialistic program by mandating the approval of the pipeline.
The Republican’s plan to stimulate the economy is to allow corporations to pollute the environment and to fire government workers. That’s not going to work in our universe, but Republicans seem to live in some alternate reality.