A “slap in the face to thousands of union workers,” and “a misguided move”….it’s what the American Petroleum Institute President Mike Sommers called President Biden’s move to effectively stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
It was one of Biden’s executives orders announced after he was sworn into office on Wednesday, an order that drew an immediate rebuke from the API and other oil and gas groups.
“—revoking the Keystone XL pipeline is a significant step backwards both for environmental progress and our economic recovery,” said Sommers in a statement after news of the President’s order to revoke permits for the nearly $8 billion project to carry Canadian oil across the US, through Oklahoma and to the Gulf Coast refineries.
Sommers argued the nation’s economy cannot recover at full speed unless reliable energy is delivered to where it is needed.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline has been through more than 10 years of extensive environmental reviews, and today’s announcement is a slap in the face to the thousands of union workers who are already a part of this safe and sustainable project. This misguided move will hamper America’s economic recovery, undermine North American energy security and strain relations with one of America’s greatest allies.”
Supporting Sommers’ criticism of Biden’s move was Andy Black, president and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines.
“Killing 10,000 jobs and taking $2.2 billion in payroll out of workers’ pockets is not what Americans need or want right now,” he said.
Several Canadian officials pleaded with Biden not to kill the project and to give them more time to make their case for the 1,200 mile pipeline that would stretch across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.
In light of Biden’s rejection of construction permits in the U.S., pipeline developer TC Energy was unsure whether it would challenge the President in the courts or attempt a new North American trade deal.
The company stated earlier this week it would review the decision, assess its implications, and consider its options.
“The company will cease capitalizing costs, including interest during construction, effective January 20, 2021, being the date of the decision, and will evaluate the carrying value of its investment in the pipeline, net of project recoveries. Absent intervening actions, these steps could result in a substantative, predominantly non-cash after-tax charge to earnings in first quarter 2021. TC Energy will also modify its previously announced financing plans as it would no longer expect to issue hybrid securities or common shares under its dividend reinvestment plan to partially fund the project,” stated the company on its website.