The strange deal in current congressional legislation is the right will agree to the payroll tax exemption extension if the left will agree with the Keystone XL pipeline.
Granted that both the payroll tax exemption and Keystone XL pipeline expansion will create jobs.
The question is at what cost?
The payroll tax exemption will put money in middle class people’s pockets; presumably money they would spend and help boost the consumption economy. The cost is that once the economy recovers the payroll tax losses would have to be made up.
The Keystone XL pipeline would provide construction jobs, engineering jobs, administrative jobs, manufacturing jobs, and all of the spin-off jobs from the project (e.g., feeding and housing the construction workers). The costs look only to be environmental. The proposed pipeline runs along the Ogallala Aquifer. This aquifer is one of the most vast in the world. It runs through eight states: South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. It not only provides drinking water for people and livestock, it helps irrigate America’s breadbasket. It’s a relatively shallow aquifer. And the pipeline runs through seismic areas.
Pollution of the Ogallala Aquifer with synthetic crude from the Keystone pipeline would impact millions of Americans for God-only-knows how many years.