United States President-elect Joe Biden plans to cancel a contentious oil pipeline on his first day in office, Canadian media reported.
Premier of Canada’s oil-rich province of Alberta calls on United States President-elect Joe Biden to “show respect for Canada” and negotiate future of controversial Keystone XL pipeline project of several billion dollars.
At a press conference Monday, Prime Minister Jason Kenney expressed concern over reports over the weekend that Biden, to be inaugurated on Wednesday, would cancel the pipeline on his first day on duty.
“We hope that President-elect Biden will show respect for Canada and sit down and at the very least talk to us, talk to this country, about the issues,” Kenney said.
CBC News reported Sunday that Biden plans to deny the project.
The words “Cancel Keystone XL pipeline license” are on a list of executive actions scheduled for the first day of the Biden administration, Canada’s national broadcaster said.
Scheduled to travel 1,947 km (1,210 miles) from Alberta to the US state of Nebraska, the Keystone XL pipeline is expected to ship 830,000 barrels of oil per day between the two countries.
He faced stiff opposition from environmental and indigenous groups in the United States and Canada, who said the pipeline would worsen the climate crisis and threaten the lands and waterways along the route. Some organizations have also launched legal challenges against the pipeline.
Former US President Barack Obama vetoed the project in 2015, saying it was not economically viable for the United States.
But President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2017 authorizing Keystone XL to go ahead and in 2019 he signed a presidential executive order replacing his previous authorization in an attempt to speed up the process.
TC Energy Corp, the company behind the project, which changed its name from TransCanada last year, said in March that the pipeline is expected to be operational by 2023 and inject $ 8 billion into the northern economy. -american.
CBC News reported on Monday that Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan said Canada continues to advocate for the pipeline with his American colleagues.
“Canadian oil is produced under strong environmental and climate policy frameworks, and this project will not only strengthen the vital energy relationship between Canada and the United States, but create thousands of good jobs for workers on both sides of the world. the border, ”O’Regan said in a statement.
But despite Canada’s stance, Biden, who was vice president when Obama canceled the project, said in an interview with CNBC in May last year that he was “against Keystone from the start.”
“These are the tar sands that we don’t need [and] it’s actually a very, very high pollutant, ”Biden said at the time.
Environmentalists had hailed Biden’s plan to cancel the pipeline when he was declared the winner in the recent US presidential elections.
Cameron Fenton, Canada’s team leader at environmental group 350.org, told Al Jazeera in November that thousands of people signed an open letter urging the new US president to keep his promise.
“We wanted to try to make it clear that … our government and the fossil fuel lobbyists they work with do not speak for everyone in Canada, where the vast majority of people support increased climate ambition and increased action, ”Fenton says.
At Monday’s press conference, Kenney – whose government of Alberta invested C $ 1.5 billion ($ 1.1 billion) in Keystone XL last year – said the province could lose one billion Canadian dollars (784 million dollars) if the project were canceled.
“In our opinion, it would be a serious economic and strategic error that would delay… relations with the most important trading partner and strategic ally of the United States: Canada,” he told reporters.
Kenney added that Alberta could “take legal action” to defend its interests – but did not give more details, saying he hoped it didn’t come to that.