Saskatchewan energy minister disappointed by Biden’s Keystone XL position

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Saskatchewan energy minister disappointed by Biden’s Keystone XL position
WATCH: The Saskatchewan government is disappointed following news of presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden's stance on a pipeline project – May 20, 2020

The Saskatchewan government could face another tough blow in the energy sector.

Earlier this week, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would tear up the approval plans for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would start in Hardisty, Alta., and run to Steele City, Nebraska.

Saskatchewan’s energy minister knows how valuable moving oil is to producers and the province.

“The lack of access to tidewater cost Saskatchewan oil producers about $3.7 billion in lost revenue and cost the Saskatchewan government about $215 million in lost taxes, royalties and revenues,” Bronwyn Eyre said about 2018.

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More than 250 kilometres of pipe and three pump stations would be installed in southwestern Saskatchewan if TC Energy’s project is built.

At its peak, construction of the pipeline would create around 3,000 Canadian jobs, with 1,200 of them in the province.

In his May 19 press conference, the prime minister said his position on the pipeline has not changed.

“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,” Justin Trudeau said.

Biden was U.S. vice-president when the Obama administration blocked the pipeline in 2015.

Since Donald Trump was elected, the project has been re-approved and construction has started.

Eyre said given what is taking place with the novel coronavirus pandemic and the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, this could be a pivotal moment for the federal government to invest in Canadian energy.

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“Now would be the time for the federal government to truly buy local and support Canadian energy, certainly by loudly and clearly speaking up for this pipeline project,” she told Global News.

Eyre added the province will be reaching out to TC Energy and U.S. legislators to advocate for Keystone XL.

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