- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Fourteen Republican attorneys general have urged President Biden to reconsider his decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that the “symbolic act of virtue signaling” will do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. Biden cited the importance of combating the “climate crisis” in his flurry of Day-One executive orders, which included rescinding the 2017 cross-border permit for the 1,173-mile pipeline slated to deliver oil from Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

“Nowhere, however, do you explain how killing the Keystone XL pipeline project directly advances the goals of ‘protect[ing] Americans and the domestic economy from harmful climate impacts,’” said the Tuesday letter. “Nor does your decision actually cure any of the climate ills you reference.”

Killing the pipeline means that the Canadian crude oil will be transported instead by rail and truck, which emit more carbon dioxide than pipelines. Keystone was on track to be carbon-neutral by 2023, according to owner TC Energy.

As a result, they said, “Observers are thus left with only one reasonable supposition: it is a symbolic act of virtue signaling to special interests and the international community.”

The attorneys general hinted of legal action, warning that “states are reviewing available legal options to protect our residents and sovereign interests.”

TC Energy laid off 1,000 U.S. and Canadian workers shortly after Mr. Biden issued the order, which is expected to “eliminate thousands of well-paying jobs, many of them union jobs.”

“Your decision will result in devastating damage to many of our states and local communities,” said the letter. “Even those states outside the path of the Keystone XL pipeline — indeed all Americans — will suffer serious, detrimental consequences.”

Biden climate czar John Kerry said that solar jobs would be a “better choice” for displaced oil-and-gas workers.

“What President Biden wants to do is make sure those folks have better choices, that they have alternatives, that they can be the people to go to work to make the solar panels,” Mr. Kerry said at a Jan. 27 press conference.

The attorneys general called his suggestion “heartless,” given that most solar panel equipment is manufactured in China, according to the BBC, citing the International Energy Agency.

“[I]t’s cold comfort to suggest to now-jobless Americans that by turning the page on projects like Keystone XL, workers can look forward to high-paying green energy jobs that don’t yet exist,” said the letter. “It’s bad enough for the government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, but much worse when the winners are aspirational.”

The letter was led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and was signed by attorneys general of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.

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