Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will press any government on the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, following promises from Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday, to “rip up” President Donald Trump’s approval of the project if he is elected next year.
“It has been a long position of mine that we need to get our resources to new markets safely and securely and that’s why I’ve always advocated for the Keystone XL pipeline,” Trudeau said during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
Trudeau noted the project has already been halted once in 2015 but added the re-election of a Democratic Party in the United States will not stop him from advocating for the completion of the pipeline.
“We saw the previous Democratic administration cancel it,” he said.
“We will continue to work with whatever government gets elected in the United States to impress upon them how important Canada is as a secure and reliable supply of energy that they require — even as we move forward to a different future.”
In a statement to Politico on Monday, policy director Stef Feldman said Biden stood firmly with Barack Obama in 2015 to reject the project and will “proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as president and stop it for good by rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit.”
Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney also noted his disappointment in Biden’s comment during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
“We hope to be able to work with his campaign and whoever the elected administration is to ensure North American energy independence, economic growth and job creation,” Kenney said.
“If we don’t get that pipeline built, the United States refineries along the gulf coast will once again have to be dependent on OPEC oil imports for heavy oil in particular from dictatorships like Venezuela.”
When asked about the financial risk that accompanies the work currently being done on the pipeline if it was to get shut down due to a change in power in the U.S., Kenney said the province stands behind its investment.
“We made the strategic investment exactly because that there was obviously political risk and the markets were obviously not prepared to finance, on a conventional basis, a project with that kind of a risk, quite frankly the risk that has existed around every pipeline projects in North America over the past several years,” he said.
“We as a province decided that it was in our vital economic interest to step forward and ensure that construction began this year.”
On Monday evening, Alberta’s Energy Minister Sonya Savage also reacted to Biden’s comments, issuing a statement that outlined the importance of the project to North America’s economy.
“While we are disappointed to hear these reports from the Biden campaign, we remain confident Keystone XL remains a critical part of North America’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” Savage said.
“The majority of American people have consistently backed Keystone XL in large part due to the tens of thousands of U.S. jobs the pipeline will support, and the millions of dollars in tax revenue that will be used to build better communities for American families.”
In March, Trump signed a permit that cleared the way for the construction of the pipeline, and Savage said that despite political opinions, officials hope to continue to work with the U.S. government to get the job done.
“As our closest friend and ally, we would expect the U.S. government, regardless of electoral politics, to respect the Canada-U.S. relationship,” Savage said.
“Rather than speculating about the outcome of the U.S. election, we will spend our time continuing to meet with our U.S. allies and speak to Alberta’s role in supporting North American energy independence and security.”