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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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The Alberta government came out swinging Wednesday a few hours after the White House made a public call for OPEC+ to help stabilize global energy prices.

Early Wednesday, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement, warning of the impact from higher gasoline prices and looked to the world’s influential cartel of oil-producing nations to ramp up their output.

“While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough,” he said.

That messaging went over like a ton of bricks in the oil-rich province of Alberta.

“The Biden administration pleading with OPEC to increase oil production to rescue the United States from high fuel prices months after cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline smacks of hypocrisy,” said Sonya Savage, the province’s energy minister, in a release.

TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL project became a lightning rod for controversy through various American administrations. The 1,947-kilometre pipeline was designed to run from Hardisty, Alta. to Steele City, Neb. where its shipments would then be routed to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Its capacity was envisioned at 830,000 barrels per day.

After being scrapped by Barack Obama’s administration, before being revived by Donald Trump in one of his first acts in office, it again lost its presidential permit after Joe Biden took office this year. With the writing on the wall, TC Energy officially terminated its plan for Keystone XL in June.

According to AAA, the average U.S. gas price was US$3.185 per gallon Wednesday, compared to US$2.174 a year ago.

“Had pipelines not been politicized by opponents of oil and gas, Keystone XL would have been operational for years and reliably delivering nearly 1 million barrels of oil every day to American refineries,” Savage added.