OTTAWA – Canada’s infrastructure minister says Ottawa is focused on moving forward from the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project.
Scrapping the expansion was one of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first executive orders in office Wednesday.
Minister Catherine McKenna says the decision was a Biden campaign promise and that the goal now is to work with the new administration.
“I think that we need to look at what are the opportunities that can move us forward. I’m sure there will be a discussion with the prime minister and the president on that project. But the relationship is much bigger than that,” she said.
McKenna didn’t answer any questions about potential legal action against the U.S. or the call from Alberta’s premier to impose trade sanctions in response to this move.
“There are huge opportunities for every single province with the United States, and it’s critically important that we remain focused on what are wins for both countries. What are good jobs — including good union jobs — what are ways that we’re going to tackle climate change, and also critically important to both countries is inclusivity and equality, and making sure that is part of the equation,” she added.
The Canadian company behind the pipeline said Wednesday it has suspended work on the expansion project in anticipation of Biden revoking its permit.
The planned, expanded 2,735-kilometre pipeline would have carried roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
In a statement, the prime minister called the Keystone XL expansion cancellation a disappointment. However, Justin Trudeau acknowledged Biden’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise.
“I spoke directly with President Biden about the project last November, and Ambassador Hillman and others in our government made the case to high-level officials in the incoming administration,” Trudeau said in his statement, Wednesday.
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) January 20, 2021
“Despite President Biden’s decision on the project, we would like to welcome other executive orders made today, including the decisions to rejoin the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, to place a temporary moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and to reverse the travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries,” the prime minister added.