SEC to Investigate TransCanada’s Lies on Keystone XL Job Claims

by Jesse Coleman

January 27, 2012

Today Greenpeace sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) asking them to stop TransCanada Corporation from continuing to illegally mislead investors and the American public with wildly inflated job creation claims for its Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

TransCanada and its allies in Congress (TransCanada has spent $1.3 million dollars on lobbying for Keystone XL) have routinely used deceitful jobs numbers in their support of the Keystone pipeline, claiming that it would create 20,000 jobs in America.  In reality the pipeline will create less than 1/3rd that number, possibly far less according to studies by the EPA and Cornell University.

Furthermore, TransCanada knows its jobs claims are exaggerated.  According to the company, the U.S. pipeline would create jobs at a rate 67 times higher per mile of pipeline than the rate given to Canadian officials for the miles of pipeline it would build in that country.

SEC rules forbid the use of “manipulative and deceptive practices” to directly affect the value of the company’s stock.   TransCanada CEO Russ Girling directly connected the pipeline’s approval with his company’s profits in an April 2011 earnings conference call, making his company’s manipulative and deceptive jobs data illegal according the SEC rules.

As Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace, said in a recent speech, “It’s wrong for politicians and pundits to use these false numbers, but it’s illegal for TransCanada to lie to investors. The SEC needs to take immediate action to hold TransCanada accountable for misleading investors to boost its valuation,” “TransCanada needs to knock off the propaganda and level with people that they’d create a few temporary jobs just to move dirty oil through our country so it can be shipped to Europe for maximum Big Oil profits.”

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