Daily Archives: Dec. 15, 2011

How many jobs would Keystone pipeline create?

There is no doubt that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would create jobs, but there is considerable doubt about the number. Many lawmakers, including Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., have cited company estimates that the project would create about 20,000 jobs, including 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 jobs among supply manufacturers. But Washington Post fact-checkers noted that the company is counting the construction jobs based on “one person, one year,” which can inflate the number. The U.S. State Department and Keystone’s contractor estimated there would be 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs. Also, the 7,000 total of supplier jobs assumes that the steel pipe will be fabricated in the United States, which may not be the case.

Would REINS act unleash polluters?

All four of Kansas’ representatives in Congress voted last week for the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require that Congress approve any federal regulation that will affect the economy by $100 million or more. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, called the measure a “commonsense bill” and hoped it would “ provide some measure of regulatory relief for our job creators.” But others view the bill, which has no chance of clearing the Senate, as purely political. And some advocacy groups warned of its dangers if it were to become law. Public Citizen called the legislation “the greatest threat to public health and safety in a generation.” Charles D. Connor, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said: “This latest legislative assault would undermine decades of hard work to ensure public health is protected over special interests.”

More details about Brownback tax plan

Gov. Sam Brownback has disclosed a few more details about the tax-reform proposal he plans to unveil during his State of the State address in January. He told that Lawrence Journal-World that he wants to lower the state’s individual income-tax rate to make it the second lowest in the region, behind Colorado’s. Currently, Kansas has the second-highest tax rate among neighboring states. Brownback “predicted the lowered tax rates would spur economic growth, which then should be plowed back into more tax cuts,” the Journal-World reported. He told the paper that, at this point, he would not propose lowering state corporate income-tax rates.