Sources confirmed that a list of executive actions for president-elect Joe Biden’s first day of presidency indicates his plans to repeal the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit, CBC reported January 17.
Biden had portended this policy change months ago when he announced that he planned to cancel the cross-border pipeline in a television interview and statements via his campaign team.
The alleged briefing note from Biden’s transition team disseminated to US stakeholders is a longer version of a memo Ronald Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, released over the weekend. According to The Associated Press, Biden will execute a “10-day blitz’ of executive action to undo several of outgoing-President Donald Trump’s decisions without waiting for Congress.
“President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration, but also to start moving our country forward,” Klain said in the memo.
After his inauguration, Biden is set to sign dozens of executive orders, including ones to lift the Trump-era restriction on immigration to the US from some Muslim-majority nations, move to re-rejoin The Paris Agreement, mandate face coverings on federal premises — and now, rescind the permit for the $8-billion project.
In response to the news, US Senator Bernie Sanders had tweeted, “The Keystone pipeline is and always has been a disaster,” lauding Biden for his potential decision.
“With all of the major crises facing America, we must never lose sight of the most existential threat facing our planet: climate change.”
CBC predicted that Biden’s executive order against the pipeline will disappoint the Canadian petroleum industry as well as politicians who have stridently advocated the project.
Federal Conservative Eric O’Toole has asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to contact the incoming Biden administration to change their course: “Keystone XL is a project of national significance that supports countless workers on both sides of the border.”
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul, on the other hand, celebrated the announcement and called Biden’s proposed actions “A contrast in leadership” referring to the plans for offshore drilling PM Trudeau approved last week.
In a statement, Kirsten Hillman, Canadian ambassador to the US, said that she continues to support the pipeline for the mutual benefits to Canada and the US, and claimed that the pipeline expansion fits with the country’s climate plan.
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