President Obama doesn’t seem sold on the economic benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry carbon-intensive tar-sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast for export.

President Barack Obama
The White House

In his most extensive public comments to date on Keystone, made during an interview with The New York Times, he stressed the neutral or negative economic aspects of the proposed project.

First, he pointed out that Keystone would create few permanent jobs:

Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true. And my hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline — which might take a year or two — and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in a economy of 150 million working people. … that is a blip relative to the need.

In fact, the draft environmental impact statement released by the State Department in March estimates that the pipeline would create just 35 permanent jobs [PDF]. As of June 2013, there were 11.7 million Americans unemployed. After Keystone’s built, we’d be 0.0003 percent of the way toward solving that problem.