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Poli Savvy: Keystone pipeline project stopped in its tracks

by Juliette Palin February 2, 2021
Poli Savvy: Keystone pipeline project stopped in its tracks

Biden administration revokes Keystone XL project permit despite consequences in Canada

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, a long-standing friend to the oil and gas industry, has spoken out in anger against the U.S. government’s decision to halt the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Alberta’s premier called upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a press conference on Jan. 20 to impose economic and trade sanctions on the United States.

“Discuss this decision in the context of a way forward between Canada and the U.S. on environmental policy, climate policy and energy security. Surely that is the least that our closest friends and ally owes Canada,” Kenney said.

Trudeau simply said in a subsequent press conference, “While [Canadians] welcome the [U.S.] president’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the president’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL.”

Furthermore, Kenny mentioned the impact that this is having on Canadian jobs, with 1,000 construction jobs already held up by the news, and 58,000 more at risk.

Nevertheless, on Wednesday Jan. 20, President Biden made his decision, stating in the executive order found on the White House website that “The United States must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy, which will in turn create good jobs.”

Kenny failed to mention the dozens of Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States that are delighted to hear this news. There has been lots of controversy following the Keystone pipeline project, previously known as the TMX pipeline project.

Not only will the construction damage the Indigenous land that they build through, but the pipeline in turn can damage marine life and the water supply.

Cooper Price, an organizer with Climate Strike Canada, said in a statement to the Concordian, “The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline was an environmental and political necessity. The Trudeau government must use the money saved by not building this frivolous pipeline to invest in renewable energy, a just transition for oil and gas industry workers, and support for Indigenous communities.”

This executive order will surely have some lasting effects on the Canada-U.S. relationship, as this exploit will surely not die with the end of the Trump administration. However, it also highlights the beginning of a new relationship between Canada and the U.S.: one that is more politically aligned with the new Biden administration, despite the consequent economic impact.

On the contrary, some Canadians may be ready to take the economic plunge that drifts alongside the need for new sources of renewable energy.

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