Published: Fri, January 22, 2021
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Biden to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline

Biden to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline

President Joe Biden's administration got down to work immediately on Wednesday, and one of its first orders of business was to put a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline project to the dismay of U.S.

One of Biden's first signed executive orders was to revoke the presidential permit to build the pipeline shortly after being sworn in.

In contrast, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said it's "incredibly troubling" that TC Energy has suspended work on Keystone XL.

If Biden chooses not to meet Trudeau to discuss the issue, Kenney says Canada should impose "meaningful trade and economic sanctions in response to defend our country's vital economic interest".

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney threatened legal action on Monday if Keystone XL was scrapped. TC Energy said the decision would lead to layoffs for thousands of unionized construction workers.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, KXL is an expansion of the existing Keystone pipeline that would increase the amount of oil that could be transported from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas in the US.

However, Trudeau's persistence did not pay as the new USA president blocked the Keystone XL pipeline fiercely opposed by environmentalists but backed by the Canadian government.

Like in the U.S., the issue of the Keystone XL pipeline is hotly-debated in Canada.

Jim Farney, head of the politics and worldwide studies department at the University of Regina, said Canada could, conceivably, put pipeline construction at the centre of its trade strategy, much like it did for softwood lumber and aluminum tariffs in the past.

"There are some really big foreign policy questions floating around", Farney said.

TC Energy approved spending US$8 billion in the spring of 2020 to complete Keystone XL after the Alberta government agreed to invest about US$1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) as equity and guarantee a US$4.2-billion project loan.

"This is a very disappointing day for us, and for the small businesses and entrepreneurs who were benefiting from this project", Diakow said.

Daines and other Republicans from Western states said Wednesday they would introduce a bill to renew construction of the pipeline.

"Keystone XL was a huge bright spot for our communities and businesses", said Wanda Diakow, the economic development officer for the rural municipality.

What does the new administration mean for Canada-U.S. relations?

"I spoke directly with President Biden about the project last November, and Ambassador Hillman and others in our government made the case to high-level officials in the incoming administration", Trudeau said.

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