01/10/2012 08:13 EST | Updated 03/11/2012 05:12 EDT

TransCanada steps up Keystone XL publicity campaign with detailed job estimates

CALGARY - TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) has stepped up its publicity campaign for the politically charged Keystone XL pipeline, releasing a detailed breakdown of where the $7-billion project would create 20,000 jobs in the United States, if approved.

The project requires presidential approval but Keystone is a major challenge for the Obama administration in an election year because of opposition from environmental groups.

TransCanada has argued for months that the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast is vital to the United States because it will provide energy security and much-needed jobs.

The Calgary-based company says Keystone XL would create 13,000 construction jobs and 7,000 manufacturing jobs.

TransCanada says it has contracts with over 50 suppliers across the country, some of them in important political battlegrounds for this year's elections.

It says there are manufacturing locations for its equipment in Texas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio, Arkansas, Kansas, California and Pennsylvania.