- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Scores of House Republicans on Tuesday introduced legislation to reauthorize the Keystone XL pipeline, decrying President Biden’s day-one order canceling the project as “catastrophic for American workers and families.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline Construction and Jobs Preservation Act, cosponsored by 85 Republicans, would give the go-ahead to build and operate the pipeline while declaring that a presidential permit such as the one rescinded by Mr. Biden is no longer required.

“President Biden’s decision to stop construction of the Keystone Pipeline is catastrophic for American workers and families,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement. “Its impact on global climate change is negligible, but its consequences for workers, families, and energy independence are decidedly negative.”

Mr. Biden’s decision to pull the 2017 cross-border permit comes at an estimated cost of about 11,000 jobs as well as up to 60,000 indirect jobs along the route of the 1,179-mile pipeline extension aimed at running crude oil from Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota Republican, who sponsored the bill with Rep. Dusty Johnson, South Dakota Republican, called the permit cancelation “an attack on the way of life for thousands of people who rely on energy production to feed their families.”

Issued Jan. 20, the first day of his presidency, the KXL order came as part of Mr. Biden’s sweeping climate agenda aimed at achieving net-zero emissions in U.S. electricity generation by 2035 and economy-wide by 2050 to combat the “climate crisis.”

“In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis, and we can’t wait any longer,” Mr. Biden said last week. “We see it with our own eyes, we feel it, we know it in our bones.”

With no Democratic cosponsors, the bill is unlikely to advance in the House unless it can win support from Democrats in oil-and-gas states positioned to benefit from the pipeline, which would have ultimately connected to an oil terminal in Illinois and Gulf of Mexico refineries.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who represents Louisiana, an oil-and-gas hub, accused the Democratic president of causing “an all-out assault on American jobs” to “appease the most radical left base of his party.”

“Unfortunately, he chose to fire thousands of union workers, turn his back on our Canadian allies, and make our country more reliant on energy from countries that don’t like us, like Russia and OPEC nations,” Mr. Scalise said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday spoke with Mr. Biden and “raised Canada’s disappointment with the United States’ decision on the Keystone XL pipeline,” according to a statement from his office.

“The prime minister underscored the important economic and energy security benefits of our bilateral energy relationship as well as his support for energy workers,” the statement said.

Calgary-based TC Energy, the KXL’s developer, has already laid off about 1,000 workers on the pipeline, which was under construction.

Natural Law Energy, a $1 billion Keystone investor run by five Canadian tribes, said the day before Mr. Biden’s order that the cancelation would be “devastating” to Native communities.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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