Canadian officials said they were “deeply concerned” by the reports and claimed it would “kill jobs on both sides" of the border.
President-elect Joe Biden is set to cancel the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline on his first day of office through executive action, according to reports. The executive action will reverse the environmental policies from the Trump era. Climate change and environmental protections were an integral part of Joe Biden's Presidential campaign and it appears the Democrat is wasting no time to put his money where his mouth is. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was the first to report that the President-elect was planning to cancel the pipeline on day 1. The Keystone XL pipeline, if completed, will carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada into Nebraska, before being ferried to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico, reported The Huffington Post. The pipeline has drawn the ire of environmental activists since work began more than a decade ago. It has also faced many legal hurdles. The backers of the project have used the "generation of jobs" plank to make their case for the project.
Jason Kenney, the premier of the province of Alberta, Canada said he was “deeply concerned” by the reports, adding that the move would “kill jobs on both sides of the border” and “weaken the critically important Canada-US relationship.” Kenney released a statement on the matter. “As President-elect Biden’s green jobs plan acknowledges, Americans will consume millions of barrels of oil per day for years to come,” said Kenney in a statement. “It is in perfect keeping with his plan that the United States energy needs should be met by a country that takes the challenges of climate change seriously.”
I am deeply concerned by reports that the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden may repeal the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL border crossing next week.— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) January 18, 2021
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/vZjun1IdMH
Environment group 350.org lauded the potential move by Joe Biden and said it was “a momentous sign that he is listening, taking action, and making good on his promises to people and the planet.” Kendall Mackey, a campaign manager for the group, released a statement addressing the reports. “By ensuring that KeystoneXL is reversed, Biden is standing on the side of tribal nations, farmers, ranchers, and many communities whose livelihoods would be wrecked by this dirty pipeline,” said Mackey. “We look forward to working with the administration to ensure that real climate action that transitions us off fossil fuels and to a just renewable energy economy is a cornerstone of Biden’s legacy over the next four years.”
The Obama administration had banned the pipeline in 2015, but Trump had ignored the pleas of environmental groups, to reverse the ban in 2017. Donald Trump and his administration had reversed much of America's commitment to preserving the environment and fighting climate change including backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it would allow leasing in Teshekpuk Lake, the largest lake in Arctic Alaska. The lake is a haven for migrating birds and wildlife and has been off-limits to leasing since the Reagan administration. Thanks to the Trump administration's latest decision, more land on the western North Slope will be open to drilling. "For decades, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has stood as a symbol of our nation's strong natural legacy," said Ellen Montgomery, public lands campaign director for Environment America, reported Salon. "Its breathtaking landscape is home to endangered polar bears, caribou, wolves, muskoxen, and migratory birds that travel annually to all 50 states. Destroying their home in the craven desire for more oil is a tragic mistake."
The Keystone pipeline is & always has been a disaster. I'm delighted that Joe Biden will cancel the Keystone permit on his first day in office. With all of the major crises facing America, we must never lose sight of the most existential threat facing our planet: climate change. https://t.co/8lDZDOgsVy— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 18, 2021
Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Agreement after he takes office. “The United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement on day one of my presidency,” said Biden, reported Boston Herald. “I don’t for a minute underestimate the difficulties of meeting my bold commitments to fighting climate change. But at the same time, no one should underestimate for a minute my determination to do just that,” said Biden, reported New York Times.