Biden’s Keystone XL Decision Signals Troubling ‘New Normal’ For U.S. Pipelines
In a statement reminiscent of Barack Obama’s famous admonition that West Virginia coal miners losing their jobs should “learn to code,” Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg flatly stated during his confirmation hearing this week that union workers who have been or expected to be employed on the Keystone XL Pipeline project should simply get other jobs, saying “…we’re very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones.”
Thus does the future cabinet member reflect the Biden/Harris administration’s indifferent attitude towards the domestic oil and gas industry in general and this key, $8 billion energy infrastructure project specifically. News of the cancellation of this cross-border permit was by and large treated as sort of a business-as-usual matter, but it is in fact an extraordinary, even radical act of executive fiat that has few peacetime precedents in American history.
The Keystone XL project represents an overall $8 billion investment by TC Energy, the company which owns and operates the Keystone Pipeline System that moves large volumes of crude oil throughout the middle section of the United States and southern Canada. Several hundred miles of the planned 1,200 mile Keystone XL expansion have already been constructed and placed into the ground, including, ironically, the section of the line that crosses the U.S./Canadian border. Upwards of $3 billion of that overall $8 billion investment have already been committed and now represents a sunk cost at the whim of a new President, a very dangerous precedent for any administration to set. Source