Biden revoked the license for the Keystone XL pipeline, as promised. In doing so, he killed some 11,000 direct jobs that the pipeline would have created, and estimated 60,000 indirect jobs in secondary, related industries.
More than 1,000 workers already on the job—mostly union workers—will be laid off as a result of the decision, even if it is brought before the courts, as many expect.
On Thursday morning, during Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) confronted Secretary of Transportation nominee Pete Buttigieg over the Keystone XL decision. If the administration was serious about infrastructure, Cruz asked why an infrastructure project with “good, paying union jobs”?
When Buttigieg said the idea was that it would be positive for “net” jobs created in more climate-friendly industries, Cruz replied that that was little comfort for the laid off Keystone XL workers: “So for those workers, the answer is that someone else will get a job?”
Like the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines complained, although the union may only blame itself: it endorsed Biden in August, after he promised to kill the pipeline in May.
On Wednesday, Biden also halted the construction of the border wall on the U.S.-Mexico boundary. While there are somewhat unclear projections for jobs, one analysis (by an opponent of the wall) estimated in 2017 that the wall would create 10,500 jobs if fully built.
In addition, the Biden Administration announced on Thursday that it had suspended Wednesday’s oil and gas permits on federal land. How many jobs it will cost is unclear, but the outlook is not good.
The majority of presidents promise job creation. In his first 24 hours, Biden killed up to 70,000 jobs, and the true total may be even higher.