The portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that’s already built — shown here at the Montana-Saskatchewan border — may have to be torn up should Joe Biden force the issue if elected. HANDOUT
CALGARY — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he is prepared to go to court anf file a free-trade lawsuit alongside TC Energy Corp. if Joe Biden becomes president and follows through with his promise to pull permits on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Construction work on the US$14.4-billion Keystone XL pipeline began in April but fresh opposition from the U.S. Democratic presidential nominee could scuttle the long-delayed pipeline once again.
Biden’s election campaign signalled over the weekend that, if the former U.S. vice-president takes the White House this November, he would withdraw presidential permits for the Alberta to U.S. Gulf Coast pipeline Keystone XL.
Kenney said at a news conference Tuesday the province “would use every legal means at our disposal to protect our fiscal and economic interests.”
A spokesman for TC Energy, the Calgary-based pipeline proponent, said in an emailed statement that no other pipeline project “in the history of the industry has been studied more than Keystone XL.
“More than a half-dozen Environmental Impact Studies have been done on Keystone XL over the past 10 years, including the latest U.S. Department of State (Federal Environmental Impact Statement), which was released in December of 2019,” Terry Cunha said.
Legal scholars, however, said that whoever wins the 2020 U.S. presidential election wields tremendous power over the fate of the Keystone XL project, which was approved by a presidential order under U.S. President Donald Trump rather than by Congress. As a result, a future president could theoretically rescind the permit and even force builder TC Energy Corp. to dig up and remove the pipe.
Keystone XL has become a “symbol” of the climate change debate in the United States and announcing opposition to the project is one way for Biden and the Democrats to build support among key liberal voters ahead of the November 2020 election, said Richard Masson, chief commercial officer at oilsands-focused upgrading technology company Fractal Systems Inc. and an executive fellow at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy. SOURCE