Keystone XL Job Study (10th Anniversary)

TGG’s jobs analysis in Pipe Dreams? Jobs Gained, Jobs Lost by the Construction of Keystone XL was used to demonstrate to the US media and the Obama Administration that KXL would not be a major job creator for the US, nor would it have any substantial impact on US employment.

TGG co-authored this influential and widely publicized study on the employment impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline with the Cornell Global Labour Institute in 2011. The report was released in September 2011 and updated in January 2012. TGG’S Ian Goodman and Brigid Rowan provided the economic analysis to demonstrate that TransCanada Pipelines Ltd had greatly exaggerated the employment impacts of the Keystone XL (KXL) Project. TGG estimated the Project would create no more than 2,500-4,650 temporary direct construction jobs for two years and at the most a handful of permanent jobs (ranging from a low of 20 to a high of 127).

Since KXL was first proposed by TransCanada in 2008, the project has been the subject of a long and divisive public debate. Proponents of this controversial pipeline, continued to push for its construction and overstate its economic benefits despite multiple legal setbacks, widespread opposition, and a weakening economic case.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued an Inauguration Day executive order to rescind the construction permit for KXL. Almost a decade after Pipe Dreams was first published, TGG’s conclusions remain relevant. Most energy experts now agree that the project’s economic fundamentals are weak given reduced growth in Canadian tar sands, buttressed by climate concerns and exacerbated by the COVID crisis. See Project Pages for Keystone XL Market Analysis and Keystone XL in South Dakota for more information about TGG’s subsequent work on KXL.

UPDATE June 9, 2021: TC Energy terminated Keystone XL pipeline months after Biden revoked its permit. Alberta’s final costs for the cancelled project are estimated at C$ 1.3 billion.

Other Project Products

CLIENT BRIEFINGS | 2011 – 2015

MEDIA INTERVIEWS | 2011 – 2015
TGG has frequently commented on the economic impacts of KXL in major media, and particularly the employment impacts, which have been greatly exaggerated by proponents.

President Barack Obama arriving at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, OK, March 22, 2012. Associated Press, Pablo Martinez Monsivais