Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Preznit Pooh Poohs Pipeline Employment

You know it's a lie when WAPOs "Fact Checker" busts on the President.  I regard the WAPO "fact checker,"  Glen Kessler, as an opinion editorial writer, thinly disguised as a objective fact checker, and given space away from the opinion section as part of that deception, so it's pretty damning when he actually calls the president on a whopper, however weakly.
“My hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that 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 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.”

— President Obama, interview with The New York Times, July 24, 2013
President Obama’s low-ball estimate for Keystone XL jobs
Readers may recall that in 2011 The Fact Checker had looked deeply at the question of the number of jobs that might result from building the Keystone XL pipeline. We labeled it “a bipartisan fumble,” knocking lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for uttering greatly inflated job estimates that in one case even topped 100,000.

But now here’s the president, tossing out a rather low figure (“maybe 2,000” during the construction phase) and then chuckling that it would only be “50 to 100 jobs” after that.

When we had looked at this before, we concluded that all such estimates are subject to guesswork, but a mainstream estimate appeared to come from the State Department — 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs in a year. TransCanada, which would build the pipeline, had its own, somewhat similar estimate for the two-year project — 13,000 jobs, or 6,500 per year...
One would also hope that reporters would think a little beyond the actual welders.

Our colleague Juliet Eilperin suspects that the president is relying on an estimate generated by the Cornell University Global Labor Institute, which opposes the pipeline project. Cornell figures each segment of the pipeline requires 500 workers per segment. The southern leg of the pipeline is now nearly complete, so that means 10 segments are left. That translates into 5,000 jobs over two years, or 2,500 a year.

Meanwhile, because part of the pipeline is complete, the State Department has revised downward its estimate of the construction jobs to 3,900 jobs per year over a one-to-two-year period. That’s still a higher figure than the one generated by opponents.

The State Department also says the project could “potentially support approximately 42,100 average annual jobs across the United States over a one-to-two-year period.” State said the employment would translate into about $2 billion in workers’ earnings, $3.3 billion in construction and materials costs and $67 million in state and local taxes. That sounds like real money and quite a few jobs, at least in the short term.
 So the estimate the president is using is strictly the workers to work on the pipeline, not the people who drive the materials to the pipeline, the people who make the materials for the pipeline, or the money spent by the people who make the pipeline on food, lodging, and day to day expenses.

Remember that when the administration claims that money given away as part of the stimulus generated 3 or more times as much economic activity on a dollar basis.

Nevertheless, the Obamacentric Kessler only manages to give him two (out of a possible four) Pinocchios, which signifies:
Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.

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