In his first day in office, newly sworn in President Joe Biden moved swiftly to undo several actions put forth by his predecessor Donald Trump.
Among the executive actions, revoking the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. A move that delivers a significant blow to Canada’s energy sector.
In response, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is disappointed despite welcoming the incoming President’s commitment to combat climate change.
Canadian officials tried to make the case for the pipeline to the incoming Biden administration. The Prime Minister raised Keystone XL as a top priority when he spoke with Biden in a phone call in November. The project is meant to expand critical oil exports for Canada, which has the third-largest oil reserves in the world.
“I spoke directly with President Biden about the project last November,” said Trudeau in a statement. “Ambassador Hillman and others in our government made the case to high-level officials in the incoming administration.”
In his statement, Trudeau pledges that workers in Canada, specifically in Alberta and Saskatchewan, will continue to have the federal government’s full support.
Trudeau won’t have to wait long for an opportunity to address the issue with the new President directly. According to the new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Biden’s first call with a foreign leader will be to the Prime Minister on Friday.
“I expect they will certainly discuss the important relationship with Canada, as well the decision on the Keystone pipeline,” said Psaki.
TC energy, the company behind the Keystone XL oil pipeline said Wednesday it has suspended work on the pipeline in anticipation of the incoming president’s move to revoke its permit.
The 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometre) pipeline would carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Biden signed 15 executive orders on his first day in office that reverse course on immigration, climate change, racial equity and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Trudeau welcomed the other moves taken by the 46th President on his first day on the job. Among them, the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with Biden moves to rejoin the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, to place a moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and to reverse the travel ban on several muslim nations.
“I look forward to working with President Biden to reduce pollution, combat climate change, fight COVID-19, create middle class jobs, and build back better by supporting a sustainable economic recovery for everyone,” said Trudeau.