President-elect Joe Biden plans to scrap the permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the US, two Canadian broadcasters said Sunday.
CBC and CTV cited sources and notes from Biden’s transition team that indicate he will rescind the permit via executive order following his inauguration on Wednesday.
The $8 billion pipeline extension would transport about 500,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada’s tar sands in Alberta to refineries in coastal Texas.
Owned by TC Energy and the government of Alberta, the extension was blocked in 2008 by then-president Barack Obama due to environmental concerns. His successor Donald Trump moved to authorize it.
Alberta premier Jason Kenney said on Twitter he was “deeply concerned” by reports of Biden’s plan to now nix the project.
“Should the incoming US administration abrogate the Keystone-XL permit, Alberta will work with TC Energy to use all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project,” Kenney said.
Alberta is in the midst of an economic slump due to falling oil prices and the pandemic.
Opposition leader Erin O’Toole, who heads the Conservative Party, said that if true, Biden’s move would “devastate thousands of Canadian families who have already been badly hurt by the economic crisis.”
He called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “to immediately reach out to the incoming US administration to stop this from happening.”
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that TC Energy plans to use only renewable energy to power the pipeline in a bid to stop Biden from scrapping it.
The project has been fiercely opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups because of the risk of oil spills and damage to sites considered sacred.
The XL portion of the pipeline calls for the construction of a segment from Alberta to the Midwestern US state of Nebraska, creating a more direct route to the Gulf refineries. AFP