On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 13990 which set in motion several actions as part of his climate agenda, including the revocation of President Trump’s permit allowing TC Energy to construct and operate the Keystone XL pipeline. The very next day, TC Energy laid off over 1,000 workers, the majority of whom were “unionized workers representing the building trades.” With the stroke of a pen, President Biden managed to unilaterally devastate many families in the West with little regard for these rural communities.
Originally conceived in 2010, the Keystone Pipeline is an oil pipeline that runs from the oil-rich regions of Alberta, Canada to refineries in Illinois and Texas. Planned in four stages, three-quarters of the pipeline have already been completed. In spite of the fact that the Obama administration previously supported the construction of the other sections, the final “XL” stage of the Keystone became mired in political squabbling. In the last six years, the Keystone XL has repeatedly had its authorization revoked and reinstated by successive administrations, leaving the project in limbo.
Based on the response from TC Energy, it seems that President Biden’s action has the potential to be the last nail in the coffin for Keystone XL. In spite of the fact that pipelines have been repeatedly proven to be the safest and most cost-effective method to transport oil and natural gas, the Biden administration is determined to make Keystone XL the sacrificial lamb of their climate agenda.
Fortunately, there is still time for Congress to assert its constitutional role in policymaking under Article I and override President Biden’s unilateral action. This legislation put forward by Sen. Daines and Rep. Armstrong would do just that. As Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), an original cosponsor of the legislation, said, “During this time of economic uncertainty, ending American jobs and energy independence should not be President Biden’s top priority.” We are thankful for leaders in Congress willing to stand up to unilateral executive actions that damage our country.
Not only would the Keystone XL Pipeline Construction and Jobs Preservation Act grant TC Energy the permission to continue construction of Keystone XL, but it would also prevent any further unilateral interference in the matter by any President. In doing so, these bills would take a major step towards ending the perpetual, partisan back-and-forth that has plagued, not only TC Energy, but the energy sector as a whole.
For these reasons, I urge you to contact your representative and senators and ask them to cosponsor the Keystone XL Pipeline Construction and Jobs Preservation Act, H.R. 684 and S. 171.