A prominent economist projects the Keystone XL pipeline will have a nearly $2 billion impact on the Nebraska economy.
Economist Ernie Goss projects Keystone XL to generate $1.8 billion over 17 years; two years of construction and 15 years of operation.
Goss, an economist with Creighton University in Omaha, has released a study of the economic impact of TransCanada’s project on the state. The study has been released by Goss and Associates. It was funded by Consumer Energy Alliance, which supports Keystone XL. CEA summary of Goss report
The study projects construction of Keystone XL through Nebraska to generate $580 million in economic activity. It assumes a two-year construction period and that 10% of the 5,517 workers needed will be residents of Nebraska. The Goss study also assumes that 6% of the construction workers in Montana and South Dakota will be Nebraskans as well, based on the percentage of Nebraskans who work in the industry.
The Goss study expects TransCanada to employ 23 workers full-time for 15 years to operate the pipeline in Nebraska, slightly more workers than estimated by a study conducted for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
The tax implications of Keystone XL also play a role in the study. It estimates that construction and operation of Keystone will generate $134.6 million in state and local taxes of all kinds.
Goss makes the projections against the backdrop of controversy that any talk of Keystone XL generates.
“The economics of this are real easy, I think. The politics are very hard,” Goss tells reporters during a news conference in Lincoln.
Goss acknowledges that the economic study is only one factor to consider on Keystone XL and that environmental concerns also play a role.
“I salute those men and women who have stepped up to the plate and make those very tough decisions,” Goss says. “I just provide them with input and let them make the decisions and that’s certainly a factor that is potentially more political than economic.”
Under current state law, the governor will decide whether to accept or reject TransCanada’s proposed route through Nebraska.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:55]
AUDIO: Economist Ernie Goss discusses his economic impact study on the Keystone XL pipeline [11 min.]