Biden revokes Keystone construction permit

Photo: AP

US President Joe Biden slammed the long disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline in his first day in office. The project was intended to link US and Canada. With one of his first orders Biden revoked the pipeline’s permit, Reuters reported.

The 2,735-kilometre pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

“The Permit is hereby revoked,” Biden’s executive order says. “Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.” Keystone XL President Richard Prior said over 1,000 jobs will be eliminated in the coming weeks. “We will begin a safe and orderly shut-down of construction,” he said quoted by AP.

First proposed in 2008, the pipeline has become emblematic of the tensions between economic development and curbing the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change. The Obama administration rejected it, but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter. The premier of the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta called Biden’s decision an “insult” and said the federal Canadian government should impose trade sanctions if it is not reversed. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a conciliatory tone. “We are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” Trudeau said in a statement.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden will call Trudeau, the first call with a foreign leader after Biden took the oath of office. Psaki said the pipeline will be discussed.

“Despite President Biden’s decision on the project, we would like to welcome other executive orders made today, including the decisions to rejoin the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, to place a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and to reverse the travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries,” Trudeau said in his statement.

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