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Could executive orders to revive Dakota Access and Keystone XL create more jobs?

In the early days of his administration, President Donald J. Trump signed what some consider to be controversial executive orders to revive the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. This move essentially reverses previous orders to halt construction by departing President Obama. While some are not exactly thrilled about this decision, those in the energy and oil sectors are eagerly looking for this bold move to create more jobs for Americans – a promise that President Trump made clear during his campaign. He also hinted at the need for pipeline materials to be manufactured using American steel.

According to sources from The Washington Post, Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, said, “It’s good for economic growth, it’s good for jobs, and it’s good for American energy.” Spicer also said recently, “Keystone XL pipeline would create “tens of thousands of new jobs” while making the environment a priority.” (The Guardian)

Survey says: Energy industry hiring up 193%

Legal and government red tape

There’s no doubt that this could be the case, although David Blackmon, who writes on issues concerning the energy industry for Forbes, warns that there will be various legal and administrative hurdles to be overcome before any movement can take place – a process that could take months. The biggest issue is for TransCanada, the operator of the pipeline project, to reapply for a cross-border permit with the US State Department and wait for it to be reviewed and approved.

New study shows energy hiring up

Meanwhile, JobVite released the findings from its “New Year, New Job: What Job Seekers Need to Know in 2017” report, which indicates energy hiring is dramatically up in the last 2 years. JobVite complied this data based on 47,000 posted jobs and 14 million job applications submitted just in 2016 alone, as compared to their total 64 million job seeker applications. The results of the report indicate:

  • From 2014 to 2016, hiring in the energy sector increased by 193%, more than real estate, finance, and engineering combined
  • 32.5% of applicants for energy jobs get a job offer post interview vs. 27.3% in healthcare and 13.4% in technology
  • The average number of applicants considered for a single hire is 17.1%, nearly twice as often as those in the retail market

How many pipeline jobs are expected?

While there are many people concerned about the future environmental impact that the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline projects could have, there are many others who welcome the additional career opportunities that this could provide for generations to come. The New York Times reports that the Keystone pipeline could potentially carry 800,000 barrels per day from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast. Environmentalists argue that the way the oil is extracted could produce more greenhouse gasses, while Republicans and some Democrats believe it will create more jobs and help our nation become energy-independent.

President Trump’s team indicates that there will be around 28,000 new jobs created by the pipeline projects. Still other studies conducted by the State Department, estimate that the Keystone XL pipeline project will create around 42,100 temporary jobs during the active 2-year plan to build it, and then provide for at least 50 permanent jobs. It’s still a little uncertain at this point, but as the permits are approved and the entire environmental impact is understood, there continues to be positive movement in the energy sector, which can bring much-needed jobs to more Americans.

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