Alberta Premier Urges Trudeau To Ensure US Pays For Canceling Keystone Pipeline

TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 23rd January, 2021) Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta, Canada's largest oil-producing province, urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to impose proportionate economic consequences on the United States for revoking the Keystone XL pipeline extension permit.

In one of his first actions as US president, Joe Biden signed an executive order to rescind the Keystone XL construction permit granted in 2019 by outgoing President Donald Trump.

"Just as your government stood up for Canadian aluminum and steel workers when faced with an unfair US tariff in 2018, it is imperative that you take action for the thousands more workers in the energy sector and their vast contributions to the Canadian economy. I strongly urge you to ensure that their proportionate economic consequences in response to these unfair US actions," Kenney said in a letter on Friday, referencing counter-tariffs imposed on US metal imports in 2018 and a similar threat last year.

Kenney added that the Trudeau government should, at the very least, pursue the US to compensate the Government of Alberta, which has invested billions in the project and TC Energy, the pipeline's parent company, for what the premier says is a clear violation of the investor-protection provisions in the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).

Kenney has repeatedly stressed that the Biden administration acted maliciously in canceling the pipeline extension project without consultation and that the decision demonstrates the unpredictability of the US regulatory system, a precedent that will harm bilateral relations going forward.

The Keystone is an oil pipeline system that moves Alberta crude oil from the Canadian town of Hardisty to refineries and tank farms in the US states of Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas. The first three phases of the system are currently operational, however, the construction of the fourth phase, better known as Keystone XL, which is planned to transport oil to the US state of Nebraska, has caused a major uproar on both sides of the border.

The proposed section of the pipeline was twice rejected by the Obama administration, but was backed by Trump, who is set to leave office tomorrow.

In September, the US Supreme Court rejected a request from the Trump administration and TC Energy to dismiss a lower court ruling blocking further construction of the pipeline because of a violation related to a water-crossing permit.