President Donald Trump appeared to significantly undercut the projected number of construction jobs created by his executive orders approving the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
Trump said the orders were necessary to help put Americans back to work transporting hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil throughout the U.S. He made resuscitating manufacturing jobs a crucial cog of his presidential campaign.
“A lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs,” Trump said Tuesday, referring to the potential impact DAPL and Keystone XL would have on the economy. “Great construction jobs.”
His numbers appear at first blush to undershoot the number of jobs by a significant amount. Dakota Access and TransCanada, the companies developing the lines, for instance, expect construction on the multi-billion dollar projects to rake in 12,000 and 42,000 jobs, respectively.
The companies’ numbers are likely inflated, because they include temporary construction jobs as opposed to actual long-term maintenance positions, according to a 2014 report from the State Department.
The report shows approximately 26,000 of the Keystone jobs would result from spending on goods and services by contractors and employees, and last only two years during the building phase.
Meanwhile, only 3,900 of the remaining 16,000 positions would be “construction jobs,” with all but 50 being temporary, most of which would be responsible for Keystone’s general upkeep.
The Dakota pipeline’s 12,000 jobs also include non-construction jobs for those in the services area that would see an increase in business during the project’s construction phase. Just 40 full-time permanent positions will remain after the controversial DAPL is completed, according to estimates by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based liberal think tank.
The Obama administration blocked Keystone and the DAPL in 2015 and 2016, respectively, receiving cheers from environmental activists. Former President Barack Obama argued Keystone XL’s approval would tarnish the country’s image as a climate change warrior. He also said the DAPL was not in the country’s national interest.
The former administration blocked the Dakota Access oil pipeline in November, 2016, after environmentalists and members of Standing Rock Sioux, the North Dakota American Indian tribe arguing the project would poison its water supply, protested against the project.
Standing Rock’s chairman threatened to sue President Donald Trump for violating the tribe’s treaty rights.“President Trump is legally required to honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process,” Dave Archambault, the group’s chair told reporters after the news broke. He also called the action “politically motivated.”
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