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Ten key numbers in the Keystone XL pipeline report

Bryan Templeton is facilities manager at the Keystone facility in Hardisty, Alberta. The pipes at left are literally the ones that will connect the existing Keystone operation with the new expanded Keystone XL (AKA Keystone B) which is under construction. A massive construction project is well underway on what is known as Keystone B, (AKA Keystone XL) the expansion of the existing Keystone oil pipeline. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post Bryan Templeton is facilities manager at the Keystone facility in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada. The pipes at left are the ones that will connect the existing Keystone operation with the new expanded Keystone XL, which is under construction. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

On Friday, the State Department released it final environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport heavy crude oil extracted from bitumen deposits in Canada to the United States. Here are 10 key numbers from the analysis you need to know:

1,950. That’s how many construction workers would be employed for two years in Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota to build the Keystone pipeline’s northern leg, according to the analysis. Several unions are lobbying for the project because it would create well-paying jobs. It would support 50 annual jobs once in operation, the report says.

Anywhere from 270,833 to 5,708,833. That’s how many cars would have to drive on U.S. roads to release the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that would enter the atmosphere from  830,000 barrels of oil moving through the pipeline each day. Put another way, that’s enough energy to power 64,935 to 1,368,631 homes. One of the reasons so many environmentalists oppose TransCanada’s proposal is because it would  increase global carbon emissions.

1 million. That’s the number of barrels per day that western Canada could have the capacity to load and ship by the end of this year. One of the factors Obama administration officials are weighing is whether the oil extracted in Alberta would be shipped by rail anyway if the State Department denies TransCanada a permit to build the pipeline. It is worth noting that the report projects that volume of oil would not likely be shipped by rail until 2030, assuming there are certain pipeline constraints and the global price of oil is above $105 per barrel in 2020, and $135 per barrel a decade late.

28 to 42 percent. That’s how much higher a percentage of greenhouse gas emissions would result from transporting the 830,000 barrels of heavy crude by train to U.S. oil refineries, instead of a pipeline.

17 percent. That’s how much more carbon-intense the heavy crude extracted in the oil sands is, compared with the average oil used in the United States.

1.5 million. That’s the number of Americans who commented on the draft final environmental impact statement. Many of them oppose it.

1,179. That’s how many miles the northern leg of the pipeline would run, from Hardisty, Alberta, into Montana and to the small town of Steele City, Neb. The southern leg of the pipeline, which runs to Port Arthur, Tex., is already operating.

11. That’s how many volumes are in the final environmental impact statement runs -- well over 1,000 pages.

3.4 billion. That’s how many dollars the pipeline’s construction would contribute to the U.S. economy, according to State Department estimates. Put another way, it would account for 0.02 percent of the nation's gross domestic product.

Zero. That’s the number of “preferred alternatives” the State Department identified in its report. In other words, the agency isn’t saying whether it’s better to approve the project or reject it.

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.



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