Biden considering canceling Keystone XL pipeline permit through executive action on 1st day in office: report
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President-elect Joe Biden is considering canceling the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline through an executive action on his first day in office, sources familiar with the matter told CBC News.
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According to the Candian broadcaster, the words "Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit" appeared on a list of executive actions that are reportedly scheduled for the first day of the administration. The list, shared with U.S. stakeholders, appears to be a lengthier version of a memo released publicly by Biden's chief of staff, Ronald Klain, over the weekend.
A spokesperson for the Biden transition team did not immediately return FOX Business' request for comment.
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The Keystone pipeline is operated by TC Energy Corp. The $9 billion project, which would move up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the province of Alberta to Nebraska, has been delayed by legal issues.
Less than two weeks after the pipeline project got underway in April, a judge canceled a key permit, saying the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider effects on endangered species such as pallid sturgeon, a massive, dinosaur-like fish living in rivers the pipeline would cross.
In 2017, after reviewing its impact on the environment and climate, President Trump directed the State Department to approve Keystone XL. However, the Biden campaign said in May that, if elected president, Biden would commit to rescinding President Trump’s permit to allow the Keystone XL oil pipeline to cross the U.S. border.
According to the Wall Street Journal, TC Energy Corp. planned to announce a series of overhauls this week in an effort to win Biden's support for the controversial project. The overhauls reportedly included spending $1.7 billion on solar, wind and battery power to operate the partially completed 2,000-mile pipeline system, a pledge to hire a union workforce, and to eliminate all greenhouse-gas emissions from operations by 2030.
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In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was "deeply concerned" by the report, arguing that the move would "kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship, and undermine U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future."
He also warned that Alberta would work with TC Energy Corp. to use "all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project.”
According to Kenney, the United States imported 9.14 million barrels per day of petroleum in 2019, with 3.7 million barrels coming from Canada. Meanwhile, the rest comes from countries such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, who Kenney claimed do not share "the commitment of Canada and the United States to environmental stewardship, combatting climate change, or North American energy security."
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On the first day of his administration, Biden is expected to issue executive orders directing the Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for millions of Americans with federal student loans, re-join the Paris Agreement, and reverse the Muslim ban implemented by the Trump administration.
In addition, the president-elect will launch his “100 Day Masking Challenge” by issuing a mask mandate on federal property and inter-state travel and will take action to extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures.
Fox News' Morgan Phillips and Allie Raffa contributed to this report.
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