In advance of Sunday's massive protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the Wall Street Journal's Collin Levy issued a flawed column, which regurgitates false claims in an effort to belittle the pipeline's opponents. Arguing that the pipeline would create "13,000 union jobs" and "another 118,000 spin-off jobs" -- without significant irreparable damage to the environment -- Levy asks: "who needs energy security or job creation when you have environmental activists?"
Say what? There are a number of problems here:
1. As we noted the last time the Journal tried to whitewash the Keystone XL pipeline, it's not credible to claim that the pipeline will create "13,000 union jobs and 118,000 spin-off jobs." These figures are drawn from a widely criticized study conducted by the Perryman Group and funded by the pipeline's owner, TransCanada. Further, they aren't even properly cited by the Journal.
The Perryman Group uses extremely opaque assumptions to conclude that the pipeline would result not in 118,000 jobs -- but in 118,935 "person-years of employment." Said differently, that's 118,000 temporary jobs lasting one-year.
Those projections are a lot higher than estimates arrived at by Cardno Entrix, a State Department contractor with financial ties to TransCanada, and the Cornell Global Labor Institute. In fact, the Cornell study - the only independent study not funded by TransCanada - found that the pipeline could actually destroy more jobs than it creates.