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Monday, September 27, 2010

TransCanada Brings Economic Benefits...

...for Consultants Who Say TransCanada Brings Economic Benefits

Yesterday I offered some counterpoint to the pro-pipeline corpspeak parroted by HeartlandCPD GM Mike McDowell. Mr. McDowell does offer a bagful of impressive numbers, including $470 million dollars in business activity and $685.6 million in property tax, all from the Keystone XL pipeline. McDowell says these figures (at least the former; I'm assuming the latter) come from an "independent study."

Hmm... I go looking around for $685.6 million... there it is! The figures cited appear to originate from this June 2010 economic impact analysis by the Perryman Group of Waco, Texas... an analysis paid for by TransCanada.

Now Mr. Perryman's math may still be correct, regardless of who paid him to do that math. But consider: Scott Heidepriem hires Steve Jarding for political consulting and analysis. Steve Jarding is smart, but if I wrote a blog post on Heidepriem and cited Jarding as an independent analyst, I'd be laughed off the porch.

By the way, Perryman's figures on business activity, tax revenues, and other goodies to come from Keystone XL are calculated over the lifetime of the pipeline, which is about 100 years. Citing the entire lifetime dollar figure makes the argument sound better—sort of the flip-side of how opponents of the new health care reform law like to shout about the trillion-dollar price tag, although that's over ten years, meaning we will spend much less to implement that law each year than we do to kill people and break things with our military budget. So to keep the direct, indirect, and dreamingly tangential economic impact of Keystone XL in a practical, annual perspective, be sure to divide TransCanada's rosy numbers by 100.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to quantify the deceptive bullshit espoused by these pipeline pushers.
    My grand-children s clean water is more important than the short cut over the aquifer these con artists are after to save a few million bucks!
    Mike Carolus,
    Omaha NE

  2. You're right about that, Mike! And tell your Nebraska neighbors to keep up the good work. Various Nebraska groups have been leading the charge in fighting this foreign oil coroporation and its unnecessary, unhealthy pipeline.


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