Despite campaigning on a platform of creating good-paying union jobs, President Joe Biden instead used his first day in office to cancel the Keystone XL permit, killing 10,000 union jobs that the infrastructure project was projected to create. In a joint letter to the President, several labor unions noted the pipeline would “be 100% union built” and “[m]ore than 2,000 Americans are already earning paychecks tied to the Keystone XL project” while also warning that blocking the project would mean “1,000 union jobs would vanish in the cold of winter and in the middle of a pandemic.” Additional unions who weren’t signatories to the letter have also criticized the decision:

President Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone permit is also causing a diplomatic dustup with America’s top trading partner, with one Canadian official labeling it “a punch in the face to Canada.” Recognizing that pipelines are the safest, most environmentally friendly way to transport energy, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has praised the Keystone XL pipeline for being a “responsible and sustainable” way to get Canada’s energy resources to U.S. markets. Trudeau “raised Keystone XL as a top priority when he spoke with President-elect Biden in a phone call in November” and the two reportedly “agreed to continue discussions later down the road.”

  • Canada’s Federal Natural Resource Minister, Seamus O’Regan: “Our government’s support for the Keystone XL project is long-standing and well-known. And we continue to make the case for it to our American colleagues. Canadian oil is produced under strong environmental and climate policy frameworks, and this project will not only strengthen the vital Canada-U.S energy relationship, but create thousands of good jobs for workers on both sides of the border.”
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney: “Here’s the simple choice: either the United States has access to environmentally responsible energy produced in a close democratic ally or it becomes more dependent on foreign oil imports from Venezuela and other OPEC dictatorships in the future”
  • Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe: The Keystone XL pipeline “is a positive project for North America and it would be most concerning that on day one that President-elect Biden is going to make a decision like this — a controversial decision like this. It would be very concerning as to where Canada-U.S. relations may go in the future.”

API President and CEO Mike Sommers called the cancellation “a slap in the face to the thousands of union workers who are already a part of this safe and sustainable project. This misguided move will hamper America’s economic recovery, undermine North American energy security and strain relations with one of America’s greatest allies.”

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