Voice of the people: Paul Mack

February 22, 2021 9:49:45 AM

  -

 

One month in, re-examining two claims

 

One month into the Biden administration, I'll revisit Lee Roy Lollar's claims from his January 27 letter critiquing President Biden's first week, starting with the first two:

 

1) that rejoining the Paris Climate Accord would cost 6.5 million jobs; and

 

 

2) that canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline would cost 11,000 more.

 

These two numbers appear to come either from remarks made by former President Trump or from Trump's source, Wayne Christian, who is one of the three Texas state energy commissioners. Recent developments in that state's energy sector might lead one to question Christian's thinking.

 

The study from which Christian obtained his facts projected job losses, to be sure - 1.1 million by 2025, in fact. But the remainder were forecast to occur by 2040 - far enough out to be significantly less reliable. Furthermore, after Trump's comments, the study's authors quickly issued a statement that their results were used "selectively". That was a nice way of saying that both Christian and Trump failed to mention that the study admittedly did not include the offsetting job gains that might result from transitioning to cleaner energy technologies.

 

The Keystone XL losses, it turns out, are accurate (unlike some of the crazy numbers you can find on Facebook). However, there is more to the story. Of the 11,000, approximately 1000 currently exist. All but 40-50 of the remaining 10,000 were temporary construction jobs forecast to be filled later this year.

 

As with the losses projected from the Paris accord, some portion of these jobs would also likely be offset by the construction jobs required in transition to cleaner technologies.

 

Or weatherizing natural gas and coal-fired power plants in Texas.

 

Paul Mack

 

Columbus