Trudeau "disappointed" by Biden's decision to scrap Keystone XL Pipeline

Jan 20 2021, 5:08 pm

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “disappointed” by US President Joe Biden’s decision to suspend work on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“I spoke directly with President Biden about the project last November, and Ambassador [Kirsten] Hillman and others in our government made the case to high-level officials in the incoming administration,” said Trudeau in a statement on Wednesday.

“While we welcome the President’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL.”

As one of his first acts as president on Inauguration Day, Biden revoked Calgary-based TC Energy’s permit to build the pipeline, through an executive order.

Biden had stated for months his intent to cancel the project, and this past Sunday, he  officially announced his intentions to pull the permit for the pipeline.

In their statement, TC Energy said they were also “disappointed” in Biden’s decision, which they said would “overturn an unprecedented, comprehensive regulatory process that lasted more than a decade.”

As part of this process, TC Energy said it was “repeatedly concluded” that the pipeline “would transport much-needed energy in an environmentally responsible way while enhancing North American energy security.”

Now, however, the company said Biden’s order will “directly lead to the layoff of thousands of union workers and negatively impact ground-breaking industry commitments to use new renewable energy as well as historic equity partnerships with Indigenous communities.”

For his part, Trudeau pledged support for workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, “and across Canada.”

He noted that Canada is “the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to US energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.”

Moving forward, said Trudeau, “I look forward to working with President Biden to reduce pollution, combat climate change, fight COVID-19, create middle class jobs, and build back better by supporting a sustainable economic recovery for everyone.”

After the project was stalled by the Obama administration due to environmental concerns, it was revived by the Trump administration in 2017. Construction began on the pipeline in July 2020, after almost 12 years of planning and negotiation, and a $1.5 billion investment from Alberta. Now, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has also threatened legal action over Biden’s plan to scrap the pipeline.

Measuring nearly 2,000 km in length, the pipeline would transport oil from the town of Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska. From there it would continue on to oil refineries on the US East Coast.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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