The premier of Alberta, Canada’s biggest oil-producing province, urged President Joe Biden on Friday to reconsider his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the move was a snub to one of America’s closest allies.
On his first day in office, Biden took a series of executive actions that included revoking a permit that former President Donald Trump granted to the Keystone XL pipeline.
Jason Kenney, who besides serving as premier also leads Alberta’s United Conservative Party, told Fox News that Biden’s decision to ax the pipeline was disrespectful to Canada.
“It’s very frustrating that one of the first acts of a new president was I think, to disrespect one of America’s closest friends and allies,” he said.
While Kenney congratulated Biden on his election and said he hopes Canada and the United States will continue to have “a close and strong relationship,” he noted that the biggest part of the strong bilateral trade relationship between the two countries is Canadian energy exports, mostly from Alberta.
“We have the third-largest oil reserves in the world. We ship about $100 billion of energy to the U.S. every year. Keystone XL would have meant a significant, safe, modern increase in that shipment,” Kenney said.
He said Biden’s move would kill thousands of union labor jobs in both Canada and the United States, while making America more dependent on “dictatorships” for its energy needs.
“I don’t see how that is in the interests of the United States,” Kenney said, and urged Biden to “please take a half step back here, get into a conversation with your closest friend and ally, Canada, about how we can ensure a future for safe energy exports, continental energy independence and security between Canada and the U.S., while also taking very seriously climate policy and environmental policy.”
The pipeline was first proposed in 2008 but reached a snag under the Obama administration. Trump revived the project and has been a strong proponent of the measure—with the support of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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