WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline construction has some lawmakers concerned about the economic impact on America.
The Biden administration said this move is about protecting the climate and future jobs in Washington.
Some Republican governors are also frustated by the decision by President Joe Biden to revoke the Keystone XL Pipeline permit.
Republican Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy on Sunday said the president should not start off his administration this way.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte says the pipeline would have brought jobs and other resources to rural Montana, which is what the community needs.
“This project has been fully vetted, its had broad bipartisan support here in Montana. Our entire federal delegation, my two predecessors in this office, both democrats, support the Keystone XL pipeline,” the Republican governor said in an interview Sunday. “It would’ve created thousands of U.S. jobs, hundreds of here in Montana, but probably the most important thing the Keystone XL pipeline is a lifeline for rural Montana over $100 million in annual taxes that we were counting on to pay for teachers, to pay for law enforcement, to pay for infrastructure. We need this in rural Montana.”
While some GOP leaders have focused on the economic impact, White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy says she stands by making the switch to clean energy jobs.
“All I know is what I’m supposed to do, you know, and basically what I’ve been asked to do is to make sure that the United States actually looks at our opportunities we have to grow jobs, to make communities healthy again, to invest in the communities that have been left behind, to reinvest in science,” McCarthy said.
On Friday, Biden told Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that by issuing the order he was following through on a campaign pledge to stop construction of the pipeline, a senior Canadian government official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation between the nations’ leaders.
The White House said in a statement that Biden, during the conversation, acknowledged Trudeau’s disappointment with his Keystone decision.
Trudeau told reporters before the call on Friday that he wouldn’t allow his differences with Biden over the project to become a source of tension in the U.S.-Canada relationship.
“It’s not always going to be perfect alignment with the United States,” Trudeau said. “That’s the case with any given president, but we’re in a situation where we are much more aligned on values and focus. I am very much looking forward to working with President Biden.”
Biden signed the executive order to halt construction of the pipeline just hours after he was sworn in.
“Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives,” Biden’s executive order said.
Critics say the growing operations increase greenhouse gas emissions and threaten Alberta’s rivers and forests. On the U.S. side, environmentalists expressed concerns about the pipeline— which would cross the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest underground deposits of fresh water — being too risky.
But proponents of the project say it would create thousands of jobs on both sides of the border.
The project was proposed in 2008, and the pipeline has become emblematic of the tensions between economic development and curbing the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change. The Obama administration rejected it, but President Donald Trump revived it and was a strong supporter. Construction already started.
The Associated Press contributed to this report