Biden Wastes No Time Getting Back to Failed Ideas

Within the first 100 minutes of taking office, President Joe Biden wasted no time getting back to failed ideas, including nixing the Keystone XL Pipeline.  This was included among the 17 actions, including 15 executive orders, signed by the President upon taking his seat in the Oval Office. 

President Biden began his term by revoking “permits signed over the past 4 years that do not serve the U.S. national interest, including revoking the Presidential permit granted to the Keystone XL pipeline.”  However, like former President Barack Obama, President Biden is willfully ignorant as to the benefit of the Keystone XL Pipeline. 

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been center stage of the climate change debate since it was commissioned in 2010.  The pipeline, which runs from Alberta, Canada down to refineries in Illinois and Texas and oil tank farms in Oklahoma, made steady progress until 2015 when the Obama Administration delayed the project.  Former President Trump granted a permit to the pipeline almost immediately after taking office after relying on the Obama State Department's 2014 Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), which found that building the Keystone XL Pipeline would not materially contribute to climate change

The 2014 SEIS found that if the pipeline were blocked, roughly the same quantity of Canadian crude would reach U.S. refineries but through less efficient modes of transport, such as rail and barge.  This being the case, the Keystone XL Pipeline is actually the low-carbon alternative, much to the ignorance of environmentalists, because building the pipeline would lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions than the alternative modes of transport if the pipeline were denied.

Much to the dismay of the Biden Administration and environmentalists, Alberta has actually cut greenhouse gas emissions from its oil production since the pipeline’s launch 12 years ago.  Even if all Keystone crude is additional petroleum that would otherwise remain in the ground, running the pipeline at full capacity for 1,000 years would add less than 1/10th of one degree Celsius to global warming. 

And if the lack of environmental impact wasn't enough, TC Energy Corp., the owner of the Keystone XL Pipeline, recently unveiled an agreement with North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) that would allow the pipeline’s pumps to run entirely on renewable supplies. 

NABTU President Sean McGarvey said the agreement would “help to meet KXL’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2023, create the power capacity required to operate the pipeline from renewable energy sources and create thousands of jobs between now and 2030 — jobs for the highly skilled women and men of the building trades.”

Still, President Biden chose to revoke the Keystone XL Pipeline permit issued by the Trump Administration. 

The decision was also wrong on a political level, for rescinding the permit hurts US-Canada relations.

The Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, said he raised the matter with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday and "urged the [Canadian] federal government to do everything possible to convey a clear message to President-elect Biden that rescinding the Keystone XL border crossing permit would damage the Canada-U.S. bilateral relationship." 

Now that the pipeline is halted, Premier Kenney vowed that "Alberta will work with TC Energy to use all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project," because doing so kills jobs on both sides of the border, weakens the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship, and undermines U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent. 

Alberta's Premier didn't stand alone.  Others, including the Montreal Economic Institute, a Quebec-based force for cross-border trade and industry, urged Trudeau to convince Biden to set aside demands by environmentalist Democrats to kill the pipeline as “solely motivated by politics and ideology.”  

Judging the 17 actions by the Biden Administration today, it seems that politics and ideology may be the motivation for the next four years. Here is a list of President Biden's acts on his first day in office.