An Associated Press report a week ago by Pallovi Gogoi on how economists would like to see taxes increased to close the government's annual budget deficit (I guess because tax increases have done so well at closing deficits before - /sarc) has a truly curious sentence about the Keystone Pipeline: "The project drew opposition from environmentalists, while supporters say it will create over 1,000 jobs." That's right -- 1,000.
Actually, as almost everyone at NewsBusters knows already, the number is much larger than 1,000. A recent item at About.com by Tom Murse identifies all of the major estimates offered thus far:
... The controversy over the actual number of Keystone pipeline jobs that could be created and their impact on the economy is second only to theenvironmental questions the project has raised. (Actually, the environmental questions concern is a canard, as all meaning environmental sign-offs have, as far as I can tell, occurred, and the State Department's monkey wrench was the only thing preventing construction. -- Ed.)
Here's a brief scorecard of all the different estimates of Keystone pipeline jobs, ranging from a high of 1 million to a low of just 100.
1 Million Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- (that came from) Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- from "100,000 to one million." ...
570,000 Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- "TransCanada is poised to put 13,000 Americans to work to construct the pipeline" ... A financial analysis paid for by TransCanada also said another 250,000 to 550,000 some spin-off jobs could be created over the 100-year life of the project.
... 500,000 Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- The American Petroleum Institute, a national trade association representing some 400 oil and natural-gas companies, claimed the pipeline would create a half million new jobs in the United States within two decades.
... 250,000 Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business advocacy group, supports construction of the pipeline. Its president and chief executive officer, Thomas J. Donohue, called on the Obama administration to approve construction, saying it would create a quarter million new American jobs.
... 120,000 Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- ... (House Speaker John) Boehner claimed later in January 2012 that the Keystone pipeline would create "over 100,000 indirect jobs" as well some 20,000 direct jobs.
5,000 Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- The U.S. Department of State, writing in an environmental impact statement, estimated the pipeline would create far fewer jobs that what the pipeline company, oil industry and project supporters in Congress suggest. The project, it said, “would result in hiring approximately 5,000 to 6,000 workers over the three-year construction period.”
2,500 Keystone Pipeline Jobs -- A Cornell University study projected far fewer pipeline jobs than another other source, citing TransCanada's own estimates to the U.S. government.
One environmentalist whined at the end of Murse's piece that it would only mean 100 "permanent" jobs.
The claim by the AP's Gogoi that Keystone will create "over 1,000 jobs" is technically true, just as "more than one job" would have been true.
It's an obvious and from all appearances deliberate (or, perhaps, hopelessly ignorant) attempt to downplay the pipeline's significance, and I would hope that the AP's subscribing publications don't appreciate the gamesmanship with an important story.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.