President Joe Biden’s action to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office is a victory for America’s enemies and a cruel blow to one of its best friends, according to Jason Kenney, premier of Canada’s province of Alberta.
Kenney appeared Friday on the Fox News show “The Story with Martha MacCallum” to vent his concerns over Biden’s Day One action to rescind the permit that allows construction to move forward. Biden’s action has also drawn howls of anger over jobs lost due to his action.
“First of all, we congratulate President Biden on his inauguration and election and hope to have a close and strong relationship. We have the biggest bilateral trade relationship between Canada and the United States,” Kenney said, according to Fox News.
“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,” he said.
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Kenney said that Texas refineries designed to process “heavy crude” oil from Canada — which now comes by truck or train — might now have to get oil from Venezuela if the pipeline cannot move forward.
“I don’t see how that is in the interests of the United States,” he said.
Kenney said he would like Biden’s team 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.”
Kenny was miffed that a permit granted by one administration could be so swiftly revoked by the next one.
“There was a permit, legally approved [for the Keystone XL Pipeline]. Investments were made on that basis,” he said.
Kenney voiced his fear that Biden’s action could be the first of many job-killing actions targeting pipelines.
“One thing we’re concerned about are political forces trying to decommission a number of other safe pipelines that have been operating for decades. So I would call on our friends in the United States to realize Canada is your closest friend and ally. We’re a safer source of energy to fuel your economy than OPEC dictatorships,” he said.
In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Kenney vented his anger at Biden’s action.
“By retroactively revoking the presidential permit for this project without taking the time to discuss it with their longest standing ally, the United States is setting a deeply disturbing precedent for any future projects and collaboration between our two nations,” the letter said, according to the CBC.
“The fact that it was a campaign promise makes it no less offensive. Our country has never surrendered our vital economic interests because a foreign government campaigned against them,” Kenney wrote,
Kenney also told Trudeau he wants what he called “proportional economic consequences” for Biden’s decision.
“At the very least, I call upon the government of Canada to press the U.S. Administration to compensate TC Energy and the Government of Alberta for billions of dollars of costs incurred in the construction of Keystone XL to date,” he wrote in the letter.