Sources close to the U.S. President-elect Joe Biden indicate that he plans to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project on his first day in office. Such reports have been causing unrest in Canada, with some leaders warning that if the project is canceled, there could be a diplomatic row between the two countries. According to a report published by Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC), the words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” appear on Biden’s to-do list on his first day in office.
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The Keystone XL pipeline project was proposed to develop a pipeline that would move oil from Canada to Nebraska. But since the start, the project has been opposed by environmentalists, leading to several revisions. Opponents of the project say that the pipeline will be a major contributor to climate change and may show the country’s unwillingness to move away from an oil-based economy.
According to Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Kirsten Hillman, the project would be beneficial to both the U.S. and Canada. Hillman said that she will continue to promote the project so long as it offers benefits for both countries.
“There is no better partner for the U.S. on climate action than Canada as we work together for green transition,” Hillman said in a statement.
According to Alberta Premier Jason Kennedy, canceling the project would kill jobs and weaken U.S. security, because the country would have to depend on OPEC oil imports. However, those opposed to the project have said that Alberta, the source of the oil, would be the biggest beneficiary in the project and that the pipeline would worsen climate change.
In Canada, construction is underway, with the international border crossing already complete. The company in charge of the project, TC Energy Corp., has claimed that it will achieve net-zero emissions by 2023. However, critics do not subscribe to the narrative, given that the pipeline itself will be supplying oil.
The project was approved in 2017 by the outgoing President Donald Trump. However, the pipeline had initially been rejected by the former U.S. President Barack Obama. Following its approval in 2017, various environmental groups moved to court, slowing the progress of the project in the U.S.
Image via Chesapeake Climate