President-elect Joe Biden is planning to make canceling the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project his priority on day one of his presidency, says several sources.
According to EcoWatch, the words “Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit” were reportedly listed on a briefing note shared by the Biden transition team with U.S. stakeholders as part of a roundup of Biden’s planned day one executive actions.
This move is a positive development in a decade-long fight over the halt of the pipeline.
“The Biden administration halting the Keystone XL pipeline is a momentous sign that he is listening, taking action and making good on his promises to people and the planet. This decision to halt the Keystone XL pipeline on day one in office sets a precedent that all permitting decisions must pass a climate test and respect Indigenous rights,” says Kendall Mackey, 350.org Keep It In the Ground campaign manager.
Activists, environmentalists, and Indigenous groups have been fighting the construction of the pipeline since 2005 saying the pipeline has negative climate impacts, can leak which can harm wildlife, and can affect drinking water in the surrounding area.
The Obama administration had rescinded the permit back in 2015, but the Trump administration reversed that decision in 2017.
The project crosses over the U.S.-Canada border and has the support of the Canadian government. reports The Hill.
According to The Guardian, the Alberta premier, Jason Kenney, said on Twitter that cancellation would eliminate jobs, weaken US-Canada relations and undermine American national security by making the country more dependent on Opec oil imports. Construction is well under way in Canada, with the international border crossing complete.