Harper disputes Obama claims about Keystone XL effect on jobs

Aug. 3, 2013 at 2:43 PM

QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper disputes U.S. President Barack Obama's claim the Keystone XL oil pipeline would have little impact on the U.S. economy.

"This is a project that will create jobs on both sides of the border," CBC News quoted Harper as saying during a news conference in Quebec City Friday.

"It is in our judgment an important project, not just for the economy, for job creation, but for the long-term energy security of North America."

Obama, who has yet to decide whether to let the project go forward to completion, has downplayed the positive economic effects of the pipeline, which would bring oil from tar sands in Canada to refineries in the United States. He has voiced concerns about potential environmental hazards from spills should the pipeline leak.

The pipeline would produce only 2,000 U.S. jobs during construction, and only 50 to 100 of those jobs would be permanent, Obama said in an interview with The New York Times.

A U.S. State Department study suggested the pipeline would create as many as 40,000 jobs.

Harper did not say how many jobs might be created.

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