Is Tom Steyer so wrong with his facts it’s funny? According to USA Today, he claims in a new TV ad:
“As a businessman, I don’t devalue any job,” Steyer says in the commercial, “but 35 jobs maintaining a foreign oil pipeline, one that comes with real risks to the farms and towns and water supplies it would run through? That’s not going to grow our economy.”
You may want to ask Ron Kaminski, the Business Manager for the LiUNA Local 1140, whose members built the first Keystone pipeline through Nebraska – which is operating safely right now on “farms and towns” through North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois. In testimony to the U.S. Congress last week Kaminiski refuted similar claims that there is a difference between construction jobs building a wind turbine and construction jobs building a pipeline:
“I find it quite amusing all these studies have taken place about jobs numbers. No one has ever contacted me about a survey or a study about how many jobs were created on the first Keystone line nor on the second one. These ideas that these are temporary jobs – every job in construction is temporary. We construct wind turbines, we construct ethanol plants, bio diesel plants. We can build one hundred and twenty wind turbines in about a quarter of the time we build this pipeline. To say that because it is an alternative source of energy it is not a temporary job is pretty funny to me.” (Source)
You might find just a hint of sarcasm in Mr. Kaminski’s testimony. The prospect of having the 42,100 jobs that Keystone XL is projected to support eliminated by President Obama if he rejects the pipeline is anything but funny – particularly in this economy.