Joe Biden

Courtesy AbC

US President-elect Joe Biden is sent to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project on the first day he enters the Oval Office, says a report.

Biden was vice-president and stood by President Barack Obama on November 6, 2015, in the Oval Office when he cancelled Keystone. President Donald Trump overturned that decision and granted a permit.

It will be a huge blow to Alberta, which has invested heavily in the pipeline.

Alberta has already invested more than $1.5 billion with operator TC Energy. Another $6 billion in loan guarantees has also been made available to the company.

CBC News on Sunday reported a briefing note from the Biden transition team was widely circulated over the weekend after being shared by the incoming president’s team with U.S. stakeholders. 

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The words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on a list of executive actions supposedly scheduled for Day 1 of Biden’s presidency, said CBC.

Biden has said he will sign a raft of executive orders on his first day in office, on January 20, including revoking a Donald Trump-imposed limit on travel from Muslim countries.

During the campaign, Biden vowed to kill the pipeline, large portions of which have already been built in Alberta.

The Democratic candidate and the vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, have also said in the past they would put an end to fracking, a promise they did not repeat during the campaign.

The Alberta and federal governments have promised to lobby Biden hard on the benefits to letting pipeline construction from the Alberta border to Nebraska proceed.

In November, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was optimistic the pipeline would get the go-ahead.

In March 2020, Kenney ordered the Alberta government to buy a $1.5 billion stake in the project that appears to be in deep trouble.

“U.S. energy security is dependent on Alberta as the United States’ largest source of oil imports. Much of the American economy is fuelled by Alberta energy. We look forward to working with President-elect Biden’s transition team and future administration to ensure that this vital economic partnership continues,” said Kenney.

“Canada and the United States must work closely together to protect lives and livelihoods through the COVID crisis, and to return our economies to growth. Alberta looks forward to doing our part in advancing that growth agenda, working with the next U.S. administration and Congress.”

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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