President Biden got off to a bad start with the nation’s neighbor to the north on his first day in office by revoking the permit needed to build the $8 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline, immediately triggering the loss of thousands of jobs.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement expressing his disappointment while Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was “deeply disturbed” and threatened legal action.
Kenney noted that the U.S. is Canada’s most important ally and trading partner.
“That’s not how you treat a friend and ally,” the provincial leader said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Trudeau said that while Canada welcomes Biden’s “commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the president’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL.”
At a news conference, Kenney called the move “a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies.”
“Sadly it is an insult directed at the United States’ most important ally and trading partner,” he said.
The United States is our most important ally & trading partner.
As friends & allies, we are deeply disturbed that one of @POTUS first actions was to rescind the Presidential permit for Keystone XL Pipeline border crossing.
That’s not how you treat a friend & ally.
My statement: pic.twitter.com/v2vRrs5vPn
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 21, 2021
Reuters reported the move “represents another set-back for the beleaguered Canadian oil industry, in particular its energy heartland Alberta, kills thousands of jobs, and marks an early bump in Biden’s relationship with Canada, a key trading partner.”
The pipeline, owned by TC Energy Corp, is already under construction in Canada. It would carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska.
Legal challenges by U.S. landowners, Native American tribes and environmentalists have delayed the project for the past 12 years.
Christy Goldfuss, an energy and environment policy expert at the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington, argued, Reuters reported, that “the more we invest in fossil fuel infrastructure, the harder it is to transition to the investments we need to make for clean energy.”
Goldfuss ran the Council on Environmental Quality in former President Barack Obama’s White House.
Tim McMillan, chief executive of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, told the wire service Biden’s action “is killing thousands of Canadian and American jobs at a time when both economies badly need private investment” and wiped out equity investment in the pipeline by Canadian indigenous groups.
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