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Canadian lawmakers, including the country’s prime minister, bashed the United States on Wednesday after President Joe Biden rescinded a permit for a pipeline to ship oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast.
Biden took office on Wednesday and, as one of his first acts, rescinded approval for the Keystone XL pipeline that former President Donald Trump had green-lighted in 2017. The pipeline has long been a target of environmental activists and Democratic politicians looking to stop the use of fossil fuels.
“While we welcome the President’s commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” Trudeau said in a statement, according to the New York Post.
“Canada is the single-largest supplier of energy to the United States, contributing to U.S. energy security and economic competitiveness, and supporting thousands of jobs on both sides of the border,” he continued. “Workers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and across Canada will always have our support.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was “deeply disturbed” by Biden’s decision to stop work on the $8 billion project. Kenney had threatened legal action earlier in the week after reports of Biden’s intent to kill the pipeline surfaced.
“This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies. Sadly it is an insult directed at the United States’ most important ally and trading partner,” Kenney told a news conference, according to Reuters.
TC Energy Corp., an Alberta-based company, announced it had suspended work on the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday ahead of Biden’s inauguration and in anticipation of the U.S. president’s revocation of the pipeline’s permit. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said at the time that TC Energy’s suspension of work was “incredibly troubling.”
“Now is the time for our nations to strengthen our trading relationship, not erect further barriers to collaborative and sustainable development,” Moe said in a statement, according to the Financial Post.
The Keystone Pipeline System runs from Alberta, Canada, through North Dakota to oil refineries in Illinois and Texas. The Keystone XL addition is under construction in Canada and would have carried over 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada through North Dakota to Nebraska. From Nebraska, existing pipelines would carry the crude to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Biden took the oath in front of three former presidents, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, the full Supreme Court, now-former Vice President Mike Pence, as well as his wife and family, including his embattled son, Hunter. Now-former President Donald Trump departed the White House early Wednesday morning and was on his way to his estate in Florida during the swearing-in ceremony.
Biden’s oath of office effectively ends nearly two months of controversy over his election, with the now-former president, Trump, insisting that he, actually, prevailed in the November contest but was denied his second term by widespread vote fraud. He acknowledged Biden as the next president only in January, after a number of Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol after a rally in Washington, D.C., leaving five people dead and dozens injured.