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In potential death blow to Keystone XL pipeline, Biden says he’d cancel permit


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Joe Biden will cancel the Keystone XL pipeline if he’s elected president of the United States, his campaign said Monday in a potential death blow for the delay-plagued Canada-U.S. energy project.

A spokesperson said he would withdraw the permit issued by President Donald Trump.

The emphatic statement from Biden’s campaign ends months of ambiguity, as Biden had not joined other Democratic candidates in pledging to revoke the permit.

The policy director for Biden’s campaign said Monday that cancelling Keystone XL was the right decision in 2015, when Biden, then vice-president, was in the White House at an event where then-president Barack Obama cancelled the permit.

“It’s still the right decision now. In fact, it’s even more important today,” said Stef Feldman in response to a query from CBC News after the U.S. site Politico reported on Biden’s decision.

“Biden strongly opposed the Keystone pipeline in the last administration, stood alongside President Obama and Secretary [of State John] Kerry to reject it in 2015, and will proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as president and stop it for good by rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit.”

Canada’s oil industry has long viewed that pipeline as a means of alleviating bottlenecks stifling the exports of Alberta’s land-locked bitumen, as Keystone XL would help transmit nearly one-fifth of all the oil Canada sends the U.S. each day.

But the project has been repeatedly stalled over the past decade by a series of problems. Environmental groups targeted the project as a way to slow down Canadian oilsands emissions, and pressed Obama to reject it.

Meanwhile, repeated court challenges have slowed efforts to start construction, and with building not yet underway, the estimated two-year project will not get completed until after the U.S. election in November.

The announcement from Biden’s campaign signals that if he wins the White House, the project could stall indefinitely.

More to come.

www.cbc.ca 2020-05-18 18:17:48

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