During his first week in office, President Biden signed 17 executive orders. One of them was to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline and demand agencies to review and reverse more than 100 pro-climate actions enforced by the previous administration, in order to “save the environment.” However, this executive order doesn’t do any of that and has upset many Americans, unions, and energy groups.
Pipelines are the safest, most environmental-friendly way to transport energy. By canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline, Biden’s Administration is now responsible for neglecting our nation’s most important environmental issues, destroying thousands of construction and union jobs, and hurting our relationship with one of our top North American trade partners, Canada. Let’s talk about each one of these.
1. Hurts America’s energy sector
For 10 years, sections of the Keystone XL pipeline have been vital to our nation’s energy sector by transporting nearly 183,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta, Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Some studiessay that the full capacity of oil carried by the pipeline is going to reach the market regardless of whether the pipeline is cancelled or not due to global demand. If the pipeline is cancelled, all of the products will be delivered by rail or truck.
The Keystone XL pipeline is a carbon net zero project, and under President Trump’s Administration, we’ve cut carbon emissions more than the next 12 countries combined. Under President Biden, gas prices have already increased by nearly 15 centsand will continue to skyrocket. As a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus, I believe in policies that lower gas prices, increase investment in renewable power and energy storage, promote the enhancement of the ethanol and biofuels industry, all while ensuring energy jobs are secured. The Keystone Pipeline makes all of these a reality and significantly lowers our carbon footprint.
2. Kills thousands of American jobs
The pipeline supports nearly 60,000 well-paid direct and indirect employment opportunities, including tens of thousands union jobs. The cancellation delivered a punch to the gut of approximately 11,000 Nebraskans who would have been working on it. Because of our state’s extreme climate, Nebraska is one of the top 10 states in energy consumption per capita. For the average American family, energy costs will go up and local communities will suffer. Thousands of Americans are already unemployed because of COVID. Why would the President purposely put Americans out of work with nothing final in place to find employment for them?
3. Ruins our relationship with Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, said this action made by President Biden was disappointing. Canada is the United States’ leading energy supplier, and this pipeline project is our biggest bilateral trade agreement. We rely on Canadian energy, and this action is disrespectful to our North American partner. This is a decision that should’ve been thoroughly discussed and assessed between President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau, rather than recklessly revoking the pipeline project.
Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney, even went on Fox Newsto discuss pushback on Biden’s executive order and argued the pipeline reduces risk and helps our country remain energy independent by rejecting energy dependence on foreign oil from countries like Russia and those affiliated with OPEC.
This pipeline directly travels through Nebraska and affects our state’s economy, energy sector, and the livelihoods of so many. I urge President Biden to repeal his decision and support projects that reduce our country’s carbon footprint, create jobs, and strengthen our friendshipthrough trade agreements with our North American ally.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call my office at (402) 938-0300 or visit my Congressional website at https://bacon.house.gov.