A delegation of Republican western senators are warning Joe Biden against his decision to axe the Trump administration’s permit for the Keystone Pipeline on his first day in office Wednesday.
The pipeline, currently running oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to Illinois and Texas, has consistently been a hot political issue since it was proposed more than a decade ago. Its construction was initially blocked by the Obama-Biden White House. Biden, according to CNN, now appears poised to reverse Trump’s approval and bring an end to the project, costing upwards of 11,000 jobs, 8,000 of which are union, and an estimated $1.6 billion in gross wages.
“Mr. President-elect, during the campaign you challenged America to ‘Build Back Better’ by investing in new infrastructure and energy technologies, creating high-paying blue-collar jobs, and preparing for the energy mix of the future,” the senators wrote in a letter signed by North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, Wyoming Sens. John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis, and Montana Sen. Steve Daines. “With these and other commitments, Keystone XL meets that important test. We have to come together to find a way forward, to keep people working, while also creating a new standard for American energy infrastructure.”
While Biden made building American infrastructure a commitment, the incoming Democratic president also campaigned on leftist pledges to tackle climate change with endorsements of left-wing proposals such as the Green New Deal. Biden’s vice president Kamala Harris was an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal in the Senate.
Biden’s $2 trillion energy infrastructure plan promises the United States will reach net-zero emissions by 2050 while aiming to “create millions of good-paying jobs.” Striking the Keystone Pipeline, however, would likely be offset with oil imports elsewhere while axing thousands of jobs.
The Canadian government has remained committed to keeping the project in operation. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney released a statement on Sunday urging Biden to reconsider the decision that could send the pipeline to the scrap yard at immense expense.
“In 2019, the United States imported 9.14 million barrels per day of petroleum, 3.7 million of which came from Canada,” Kenney said, noting that a bulk of the rest came from places such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, “none of whom share the commitment of Canada and the United States to environmental stewardship.”