In what is becoming an annual tradition, Republican Representative Paul Ryan has put forth his budget plan for the coming fiscal year. Ryan’s previous budget proposals were approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, but rejected along party lines in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate.
Not unlike his previous budget plans, the new Ryan budget would be a disaster for the environment. In addition to cuts to crucial environmental and health programs, the budget would mandate immediate approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Like other proponents of the pipeline, Ryan cites the “large” numbers of American jobs that would be created by the construction and maintenance of Keystone XL. However, the massive job boon from Keystone is an industry myth, as reports – even those from TransCanada – show that the pipeline would only create a few thousand permanent jobs, so few that it would have almost zero impact on the unemployment rate in America. Ryan claims that the pipeline will bring at least 20,000 new jobs to America, and an additional 118,000 in indirect jobs. The State Department says that, in the end, only 35 new jobs would be created from the pipeline.
As Ben Geman at The Hill points out, the inclusion of Keystone XL shows how entrenched the modern Republican Party has become with the oil industry, and how essential the pipeline is in the Party’s negotiations with Democrats.