President Obama's claim that approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline would create 'only fifty jobs' is being questioned by leaders in the Texas oil industry, 1200 WOAI news reports.
In a job speech in Tennessee on Tuesday, the President downplayed the huge pipeline, which would run from the tar sands fields of Alberta in Western Canada, through the oil terminal of Cushing, Oklahoma, near Tulsa, to ports on the Gulf of Mexico in Houston and Port Arthur.
Bud Weinstein, director of the prestigious McGuire Energy Institute at SMU says President Obama may be right when he referred to the number of people who would actually work on the pipeline itself, but he said the existence of a pipeline from Western Canada to the Gulf Coast would mean thousands of jobs in the oil industry.
"It creates a lot of jobs in Texas, particularly in refining and petrochemicals," Weinstein said.
The Keystone XL pipeline has been held up for years by environmental concerns, ironically, forcing the oil to be transported by truck and train, a far less environmentally friendly process. An oil train explosion in Canada last month obliterated a town and killed at least 47 people.
Weinstein says the approval of the Keystone XL would lead to vastly increased oil production.
"So when the President pooh-poohs the economic impact, he is clearly misleading the public," he said.
"What he is leaving out of his figure is the thousands of jobs that would be created by the oil that would be flowing through that pipeline."