from Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute study    In a departure from my usual approach, I won’t paraphrase any part of the report I’m covering, largely because unlike most scientific studies I’ve blogged about, this one is beautifully written and easily understood.  Any clarification I may add is in [   ].  Graphics are my choice.

“This paper is primarily concerned about jobs, but the findings below also shine light on another claim made by the industry—that KXL [Keystone XL Pipeline] will get the US further on the road to energy independence.

The idea of energy independence clearly resonates with the American public, and the paid advertisements depicting Canadian Tar Sands as the source of “ethical oil” (and therefore a better option than oil from dictatorships like Saudi Arabia) plays to that sentiment.

But KXL is a global project driven by global oil interests.

Tar Sands development has attracted investment capital from oil multinationals—with Chinese corporations’ stake getting bigger all the time.

If approved, KXL will be almost certainly be constructed by temporary labor working with steel made in Canada

and India.

Much of the Tar Sands oil will be refined in Port Arthur, Texas, where the refinery is half-owned by Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia.

And a good portion of the oil that will gush down the KXL will, according to some studies, probably end up being finally consumed beyond the territorial United States.

Indeed, the oil industry is also trying to build another pipeline, Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway, to carry Tar Sands oil across British Columbia for export to Asian markets, although this pipeline also faces serious public opposition.

Clearly, Tar Sands oil and energy independence really do not belong in the same sentence.”

You can read the entire foot-noted report and supporting data at


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