Two Years Later, Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline Was Still a Mistake

Today marks exactly two years since President Biden revoked the cross border permit required to complete the construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline. This decision, on the first day of his presidency, ended the potential to create thousands of jobs and boost our economy while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Two years later, the decision is still a missed opportunity for our country.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have safely transported up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the United States, reducing our dependence on energy imports from hostile, foreign governments and providing a reliable source of energy for American families and businesses. This project had been in the works for more than a decade. The pipeline had strong support from the Canadian government, and the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill in 2014 to approve construction of the pipeline, yet it was blocked by the Obama administration. In 2018 the project was revived by the Trump administration, only to be blocked again when President Joe Biden canceled it in 2021.

Unfortunately, the decision to cancel the pipeline was driven by politics rather than sound policy. Environmental activists and their allies in Congress put pressure on the previous administration to kill the project, despite the clear economic and energy security benefits it would have provided.

A new report from Biden’s Department of Energy reveals the full extent of what we lost. Overall, the pipeline would have created between 16,149 and 59,468 construction jobs that would have lasted roughly two years and would have had a positive economic impact of between $3.4-$9.6 billion, according to a congressionally-mandated report issued by the Department in December.

Furthermore, it’s important to note that the pipeline would have been built and operated under the highest safety standards to protect the environment and the communities it would have impacted. The Keystone XL pipeline is also a much safer and more environmentally friendly way to transport oil than alternatives such as rail or truck. Pipelines are the most efficient and safest method of transporting oil over long distances, and the Keystone XL pipeline would have been built to the highest safety standards. The pipeline would also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with alternative modes of transporting oil.

We need energy policies in place that create jobs, grow our economy, and make us energy secure. The president made a clear mistake two years ago by killing the pipeline and the thousands of jobs that would have come with it. The Keystone XL pipeline was a missed opportunity for our country, but we must continue to fight for policies that will benefit all Americans. Our coalition will continue to highlight the consequences of that decision and will support the expansion of all energy infrastructure – from transmission lines to pipelines.

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