Jason Kenney, a Conservative whose province is one of the Western Hemisphere’s top producers of heavy crude oil, told “The Story” that Biden’s move was disrespectful to Canada, one of America’s closest allies.
“First of all, we congratulate President Biden on his inauguration and election and hope to have a close and strong relationship. We have the biggest bilateral trade relationship between Canada and the United States,” Kenney began. “But the biggest part of that trade is Canadian energy exports — largely from our province of Alberta. We have the third-largest oil reserves in the world. We ship about $100 billion of energy to the U.S. every year. Keystone XL would have meant a significant, safe, modern increase in that shipment.”
“It is very — it’s very frustrating that one of the first acts of a new president was I think, ro disrespect one of America’s closest friends and allies,” he added.
Kenney noted that without the pipeline, oil must be transported to Gulf Coast refineries by truck or train, both of which are sources of much higher emissions. He added that Biden’s move kills thousands of union labor jobs on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border and counterintuitively makes the United States more dependent on “dictatorships” for its energy needs.
With the current Keystone Pipeline ending in Port Arthur, Texas, Kenney said, many of the refineries in that region are designed to process “heavy crude” oil from Canada. Without Canadian oil, the next most reliable source of heavy crude would be the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
“I don’t see how that is in the interests of the United States,” said Kenney, who urged the Biden administration to “please take a half step back here, get into a conversation with your closest friend and ally, Canada, about how we can ensure a future for safe energy exports, continental energy independence and security between Canada and the U.S., while also taking very seriously climate policy and environmental policy.”
Host Martha MacCallum noted that Biden was scheduled to speak Friday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and that the topic of the pipeline will undoubtedly come up.
Kenney replied that he hopes Trudeau will discuss energy policy with Biden, and that the two leaders will continue their nations’ traditional relationship given their “closely integrated” economies.
“There was a permit, legally approved [for the Keystone XL Pipeline]. Investments were made on that basis. But ultimately, Canadian energy continues to flow to the United States,” he said, reiterating hope for recompense from the U.S.
“One thing we’re concerned about are political forces trying to decommission a number of other safe pipelines that have been operating for decades. So I would call on our friends in the United States to realize Canada is your closest friend and ally. We’re a safer source of energy to fuel your economy than OPEC dictatorships.”