Canada disappointed at US move to revoke Keystone pipeline permit
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he is “disappointed” at US President Joe Biden’s decision to revoke the permit granted earlier for the contentious Keystone XL Pipeline project.
Rescinding the permission given by his predecessor Donald Trump was among the campaign promises made by Biden and was among the first actions he took after being sworn in as president on Wednesday.
In a statement released by the PMO, Trudeau said, “While we welcome the President’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL.”
This matter will figure in a scheduled telephonic conversation between Trudeau and Biden on Friday, as the Canadian PM will be first foreign leader to be called by the new American president.
“I spoke directly with President Biden about the project last November, and (Canada’s) ambassador (to the US Kirsten) Hillman and others in our government made the case to high-level officials in the incoming administration,” Trudeau said in the statement.
“Workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and across Canada will always have our support. Canada is the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to US energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border,” the statement added.
While the reaction from Ottawa was tempered, that from the province of Alberta, which is reliant on natural resource-driven projects like Keystone, was far less restrained. Jason Kenney, Alberta’s Premier, called on the federal government to “impose meaningful trade and economic sanctions (on the US) in response to defend our country’s vital economic interests” if the Biden Administration “refuses to open the door to a constructive and respectful dialogue about these issues.”
Construction for the project had commenced earlier and the proposed 2700 km pipeline was expected to carry nearly 830,000 barrels of oil from the province of Alberta to refineries in Texas via multiple Midwestern American states.