Posted by: Scott A. Davis| |

WASHINGTON, DC – On his first day in office, President Biden “disrespected” Canada and reportedly killed over 70,000 American jobs. Within hours of taking office, President Biden signed an executive order revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Pipe being transported by train to the Keystone XL pipeline - Screenshot courtesy of The New York Times on YouTube

The Keystone XL pipeline is an oil pipeline system that was being built to connect oil fields in Canada with refineries in Illinois and Texas. The revocation of the permit will prevent the pipeline from being completed.

Ending construction of the pipeline will reportedly result in the loss of 11,000 direct jobs, and another 60,000 indirect jobs in support industries. The move has been blasted by both industry insiders and unions.

“Killing 10,000 jobs and taking $2.2 billion in payroll out of workers’ pockets is not what Americans need or want right now”

The association said they “lamented” the permit revocation which “blocked thousands of new jobs and deprived those workers of billions of dollars in payroll salary.”

Construction of the pipeline was expected to create 10,000 high-paying, American union jobs. Under a Project Labor Agreement between four American labor unions, $2.2 billion in wages would have been paid to American workers. Additionally, the pipeline builder budgeted over $3 billion in contracts to U.S. contractors and suppliers. All new steel pipes for the pipeline were required to be made in the United States.

The association also said that the Keystone XL pipeline project included significant environmental protections:

“Keystone XL would operate at net-zero GHG emissions. Its $1.7 billion investment in new, privately-funded renewable power infrastructure would provide 100% of the power to operate the pipeline.

The project sponsor also executed a renewable power MOU with North America’s Building Trades Unions to construct this renewable power infrastructure with a $10 million Green Job Training Fund for union workers. 

“Blocking Keystone XL may ironically lead to an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions…Denying construction of Keystone XL means much of that crude oil will travel by train or truck instead, producing greater GHG emissions, more air pollution, and more traffic congestion.

Another point made by the association in a release posted on their website was that cancellation of the pipeline would adversely affect Native American communities:

“Native American partnerships in the project would generate more than $1 billion in equity ownership opportunities with input into construction and operations.

The project sponsor committed over $500 million for Native American suppliers and employment opportunities for tribal communities.

Rural America would lose out on over $100 million of annual property taxes that would have gone to rural communities.

“Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project,”

While not denying the inevitable loss of jobs, Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg claimed Thursday that the loss of jobs will be offset by new positions created by a shift in administration policy toward climate-conscious goals:

“I believe that the president’s climate vision will create more jobs on that. And I think it’s going to be very important to work with him and work with Congress to make sure that we can deliver on that promise too.

That on that, more good-paying union jobs will be created in the context of the climate and infrastructure work that we have before us than has been impacted by other decisions.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) challenged Buttigieg asking, “So for those workers, the answer is somebody else will get a job?”

Buttigieg responded:

“The answer is we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones.”

American unions and officials were not the only critics of President Biden’s termination of the pipeline. Canada’s Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney blasted the decision:

“We have the biggest bilateral trade relationship between Canada and the United States. But the biggest part of that trade is Canadian energy exports — largely from our province of 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.

It is very — 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.”

This is not the first time President Biden has played a role in stopping the construction of the pipeline.

In 2015, the pipeline was sidelined by then-President Barack Obama while Biden was his Vice President. President Donald Trump reactivated the pipeline’s construction in 2017.