Greenpeace is complaining to the Securities and Exchange Commission that TransCanada is inflating the number of U.S. jobs that will be created with construction of its Keystone XL pipeline, which may be a violation of U.S. securities disclosure laws.

Executive director Phil Radford penned a Jan. 26 letter to SEC chairman Mary Shapiro saying TransCanada’s claim of “20,000 high-wage manufacturing and construction jobs” resulting from Keystone is a false and misleading number. That figure comes from a TransCanada-commissioned report from economist Ray Perryman.

Radford, who sent a copy of his letter to TransCanada’s board of directors, notes the 20,000 figure is “67 times higher than job creation totals given by the company to Canadian officials for the Canadian portion of the pipeline.”

Wrote Radford: “These false and misleading job creation numbers are part of TransCanada’s lobbying and PR campaign designed to create Congressional pressure to issue a presidential permit approving construction of Keystone.”

He charges that TransCanada has “misled investors, U.S. and Canadian officials, the media and the public at large in order to bolster its balance sheet and share price.”

Greenpeace believes TransCanada is violating SEC Rule 10b(5)—Employment of Manipulative and Deceptive Practices.

In noting that Greenpeace has neither built nor operated a pipeline, TransCanada spokesperson Shawn Howard rapped the environmental group's claims as false and without merit.

"We stand by our job numbers as they can easily be substantiated," he told O'Dwyer's via e-mail.

He said it's easy for Greenpeace to "question our reporting without any accountability. As a publicly-traded company, we are required to make accurate and timely disclosures about our business."