Canceling Keystone XL Cost US Thousands of Jobs and Billions of Dollars, Biden Admin Now Says
BY MICHAEL TENNANT
Republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, & research purposes.
Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline cost the United States tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity, the Biden administration belatedly confessed last month.
According to Fox News, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a report “in late December without any public announcement” stating that the pipeline project “would have created up to 59,000 jobs and would have had a positive economic impact of up to $9.6 billion.”
Unfortunately, President Joe Biden, bowing to radical environmental activists, canceled the project’s permits on his first day in office, drawing criticism not just from Republicans but also from his erstwhile labor-union allies, who did not appreciate his destruction of thousands of anticipated union jobs.
Just how many jobs Keystone XL would have created has long been in dispute. TC Energy, the Canadian firm that operated the pipeline, initially claimed it would create 20,000 jobs, a figure then-President Barack Obama disputed, saying the number was “maybe 2,000 during the construction of the pipeline” and 50 to 100 permanent jobs thereafter. Around the same time, the State Department forecast the project would create 42,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and nearly 4,000 direct jobs. “The project labor agreement that TC Energy signed in August 2020 with four labor unions promised the pipeline would create 42,000 American jobs and provide $2 billion in total wages,” reported Fox News. The Biden administration, which had every incentive to lowball its estimate of jobs lost to the pipeline’s cancellation, actually came in with by far the highest projection of all. No wonder it kept its report under wraps until after the midterm elections.
“The Biden administration finally owned up to what we have known all along — killing the Keystone XL Pipeline cost good-paying jobs, hurt Montana’s economy, and was the first step in the Biden administration’s war on oil and gas production in the United States,” Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.) said in a statement to Fox News. “Unfortunately, the administration continues to pursue energy production anywhere but the United States.”
“These policies may appeal to the woke left but hurt Montana’s working families,” he continued. “I’ll keep fighting back against Biden’s anti-energy agenda and supporting Montana energy projects and jobs.”
The DOE was forced to issue the report after Daines and Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, successfully inserted a bill mandating the report into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Biden signed into law in November 2021. The agency was required to publish the report within 90 days of the bill’s passage but ultimately waited more than a year before releasing it.
A group of 23 states filed a federal lawsuit to overturn Biden’s executive order that canceled Keystone XL, but after TC Energy declared it would no longer pursue the project, a judge dismissed the case as moot, leaving significant constitutional questions unanswered.
Of course, a large portion of the estimated 830,000 barrels of crude oil that Keystone XL would have transported from Canada to the United States via an emissions-free pipeline is still going to make its way here. It’s just going to be moved by the costlier means of train or truck, generating carbon-dioxide emissions and other “pollutants” that the environmental lobby detests — and forcing consumers, already reeling from inflation, to pay even more for gasoline and other petroleum products.
Indeed, faced with potential electoral fallout from high gas prices, Biden pressured Saudi Arabia — whose horrific war in Yemen he continues to aid and abet — and other OPEC+ nations into delaying oil-production cuts until after the midterms.
“The Department of Energy finally admitted to the worst-kept secret about the Keystone Pipeline: President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline sacrificed thousands of American jobs,” said Risch.
“To make matters worse, his decision moved the U.S. further away from energy independence and lower gas prices at a time when inflation and gas prices are drastically impacting Americans’ pocketbooks,” he added.
“The president must turn to American-made energy and jobs rather than dictators and despots to fix the energy crisis he created on his first day in office.”