A review from the Energy Department determined that the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline ultimately resulted in fewer jobs, but found the move’s impacts on consumer prices were “inconclusive.”
The department conducted a literature review of several studies on the impacts that the Keystone XL Pipeline would have had, including studies sponsored by the federal government as well as the company behind the pipeline, TC Energy.
On his first day in office, President Biden canceled a permit that was needed for the pipeline’s construction — leading to the project’s ultimate demise. The move sparked praise from environmental organizations but condemnation from Republicans and the energy industry.
The new report found that the pipeline was expected to create about 50 permanent jobs once it was operational.
It also said that studies estimated the construction period would support between 16,149 and 59,468 jobs, though it said that the high-end estimate “overstates” jobs because it included jobs outside the United States.
It also said that estimates of the broader economic impacts “show wide variations” across studies and so they are “not directly comparable” due to major differences in modeling assumptions. Specifically, it said that the impacts on consumer prices were inconclusive in light of changes that have happened in the U.S. and Canadian oil markets since the pipeline was proposed.
The 1,200-mile proposed pipeline would have carried oil from Canada to the U.S.
During 2022’s energy price surge, many Republicans invoked the pipeline’s cancellation in their criticisms of the Biden administration, though its construction was previously not slated to start operating until this year.
The new assessment was dated December 2022, but was announced by the offices of Republican Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) on Thursday.
“The Department of Energy finally admitted to the worst kept secret about the Keystone Pipeline: President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline sacrificed thousands of American jobs,” Risch said in a written statement.
“The President must turn to American made energy and jobs rather than dictators and despots to fix the energy crisis he created on his first day in office,” he added.
When Biden canceled the pipeline, he determined it was not in the country’s national interest, citing its climate goals.
“The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory,” his executive order stated. “Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”