Alberta's Top Official Calls Biden Decision to Stop Keystone Pipeline 'an Insult to Canada'

Alberta's Premier Jason Kenney called President Joe Biden's decision to stop the Keystone XL oil pipeline an "insult to Canada."

During a press conference on Sunday, Kenney spoke about the relationship between Alberta and the U.S., stating that the province "has the deepest economic ties," to the U.S.

"But as friends and allies of the United States, we are deeply disturbed that one of President Biden's first actions in office has be to rescind the presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline border crossing," Kenney said. "This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies. Sadly, it is an insult directed at the United States' most important ally and trading partner on day one of a new administration."

He continued, "Today, as I speak, over 2,000 women and men have lost their jobs, are heading home from good paying union jobs as a result of this decision."

Newsweek was directed to Kenney's press conference after reaching out to his office for comment.

Keystone Pipeline
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest former U.S. President Donald Trump's executive orders advancing their construction, near the White House on January 24, 2017. President Joe Biden cancelled the construction of the pipeline on his first day in office. Saul Loeb/Getty

Kenney's comments come shortly after Biden revoked the federal construction permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which if constructed would have shipped 830,000 barrels of carbon-heavy oil per day, from Alberta to Nebraska.

Biden's decision followed years of criticism toward the pipeline from environmentalists and progressives, but it will lead to over many jobs being cut from the Calgary-based company that was set to build the pipeline, TC Energy.

"Over 1,000 positions will be eliminated in the coming weeks, the majority of these unionized workers representing the building trades," Keystone XL chief Richard Prior wrote in an email to staff, according to Politico.

This is not the first time Kenney has criticized Biden's decision. Last week he spoke about the pipeline during an interview with Fox News' The Story.

"It is very—it's very frustrating that one of the first acts of a new president was, I think, to disrespect one of America's closest friends and allies," he said during the interview, which aired Friday.

In addition to Kenney, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed opposition toward the decision.

On Friday, Trudeau issued a statement about his call with Biden, writing, "The Prime Minister raised Canada's disappointment with the United States' decision on the Keystone XL pipeline."

"The Prime Minister underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers," the statement said.

Biden also issued a statement on the call with Trudeau on Friday, which said, "The President acknowledged Prime Minister Trudeau's disappointment regarding the decision to rescind the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and reaffirmed his commitment to maintain an active bilateral dialogue and to further deepen cooperation with Canada."

Newsweek was directed to Biden's readout of the call with Trudeau after reaching out to the White House for comment.