The Biden administration should seriously reconsider the revocation of permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline, the head of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan told National Review.
President Biden canceled the construction permit for the pipeline in one of his first executive orders following his inauguration. The pipeline, owned by TC Energy, was intended to transport oil from Canada’s oil sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan to Nebraska, where the oil would be rerouted to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Initially rejected by the Obama administration over environmental concerns, the Trump administration approved the project.
Scott Moe, the Premier of Saskatchewan, urged the Biden administration to allow construction of the pipeline.
“It’s a wonder to me why it’s not moving forward,” Moe told National Review. “We’d ask that both our national leaders engage on this project as well as on future projects so that we can keep being competitive and move forward as an integrated, competitive, and strong North American economy.”
Moe’s comments came just before Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were scheduled to speak on Friday, in Biden’s first call to a foreign leader. Trudeau commented that he was “disappointed” in Biden’s decision to cancel construction.
According to Moe, the project’s cancelation would lead to the loss of “tens of thousands” of jobs both in Canada and the U.S.
“My understanding is there are many union jobs” in the U.S., where a “unionized workforce is currently constructing this very integral piece of infrastructure. So those jobs will be gone, and gone immediately,” Moe said. “And it will provide us much less security in the jobs that are in the Gulf Coast, in the refineries…where this pipeline would ultimately secure those jobs for years to come.”
The pipeline was vociferously opposed by environmental groups, who view the Canadian oil sands as a source of “dirty” energy. Various Native American tribes have also opposed construction of the pipeline.
However, Moe emphasized that the pipeline itself is unique in that it runs on net-zero carbon emissions, and TC Energy has stated the pipeline will be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2030. Additionally, energy producers in the west side of Saskatchewan have been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in each barrel of oil that they drill.
“In this particular area…the greenhouse gas emissions in each barrel of oil has been reduced by 50 percent,” Moe said. “That is a comparatively sustainable energy that is going into the Keystone XL pipeline, down to the Gulf Coast…ultimately offsetting the need for a much dirtier energy source coming in from Venezuela or one of the OPEC nations.”
Ultimately, Moe warned that canceling the pipeline could harm not just Canada’s, but the entire North American energy economy.
“We need to remember that we need a regulatory environment—not just in Canada, not just in the U.S., but across our border—to ensure that our integrated economy remains competitive,” Moe said.