“Serious economic and strategic error,” Kenney reacts to Keystone XL cancellation

In response to reports indicating that US President-elect Joe Biden is likely to kill the Keystone XL extension on his first day in office, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was deeply concerned. 

“That would be, in our view, a serious economic and strategic error that would set back Canada-US relations with the United States’ most important trading partner and strategic ally,” said Kenney during a Monday news conference.

“Here’s the very simple choice. Either the United States has access to environmentally responsible energy produced in a close democratic ally, or it becomes more dependent on foreign oil imports from Venezuela and other OPEC dictatorships in the future,” said Kenney.

Kenney said at the very least, the US government should have a discussion with Canada about the vital project. 

Should the project be cancelled, Kenney believes Alberta has strong arguments for legal recourse for damages incurred.

“We know that the same political forces trying to disrupt and stop the construction of Keystone XL are involved in trying to stop the expansion of Line 3, as well as Line 5 to the upper mid-west, and many other vital projects that are the backbone of continental energy independence,” said Kenney.

“If this precedent is allowed to go forward, I believe those same political forces will then seek to get a Presidential Order retroactively to remove the provision for border crossing of other critical energy infrastructure.”

Kenney is not alone in his disappointment. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME), Canada’s largest trade and industry association, also voiced their opposition to the US decision on Monday.

President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) Dennis Darby said he believes it is important for the upcoming Biden administration to shift their focus to buying North American.

“Excluding each other from our perspective government procurement markets could seriously hurt our precarious economic recovery,” said Darby.

“If we are not successful in convincing President-elect Biden of the merits of an open government procurement market in North America, the Canadian government must be prepared to retaliate in kind by limiting access to American firms to our procurement opportunities.”

Canada is currently the largest supplier of oil to the U.S, exporting two million barrels per day. Less than 1% of Canadian oil exports were delivered to other countries in 2019.

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