Kenney slams Trudeau, Biden on Keystone XL cancellation
The leader of Canada’s oil heartland called President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project an “insult” and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to consider retaliation.
“This is a gut punch to the Alberta and Canadian economies,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a press conference Wednesday. “It’s an insult.”
Last year, Kenney’s government invested US$1.1 billion of taxpayer money to jump-start construction of the pipeline that would carry more than 800,000 barrels a day of crude from Alberta’s oil sands as far south as the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Kenney said Trudeau should demand the new U.S. administration sit down and discuss the project in the context of environmental, climate and security policy. If that fails, Canada should be willing to impose “meaningful” punitive measures against its biggest trading partner.
Biden’s decision Wednesday will cost more than 2,000 people their jobs working to build the project, Kenney said.
The pipeline is one of three projects that Alberta’s oil sands producers were counting on to get their crude to foreign markets after struggling for years with a lack of export pipelines. Environmentalists argue the pipeline would worsen global warming by stimulating carbon-intensive oil sands development.
Should Biden fail to reverse his decision on the pipeline, Alberta is prepared to “use every legal means” to seek compensation through the courts, Kenney said, adding that the province has consulted legal experts and “has a strong case to make.”