How Biden’s Keystone pipeline order could examination US-Canada relations

President Joe Biden commenced contacting overseas leaders on Friday — his initially as president.  



a man sitting at a table using a laptop: President Joe Biden signs his first executive order in the Oval Office of the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.


© Evan Vucci/AP

President Joe Biden indications his initial govt buy in the Oval Business of the White House on Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.


A person of the first was envisioned to be Canadian Primary Minister Justin Trudeau. But this time, it truly is not just a courtesy contact. The two are envisioned to discuss the Keystone XL Pipeline, a job intended to transportation crude oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

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Trudeau is not delighted about Biden’s executive order this week canceling the challenge — 1 of the initially actions of Biden’s presidency.

“I introduced up this difficulty in my quite to start with dialogue with President-elect Biden prior to Christmas. Our officials in Washington have continued to make the scenario for Keystone XL,” mentioned Trudeau in a press convention this week.  

To fully grasp how Biden’s go could have an affect on the US-Canada relationship, The World’s host Carol Hills spoke to Kathryn Harrison, a political scientist and environmental policy qualified at The College of British Columbia in Vancouver. 

Similar: What the US election indicates for Keystone XL development in Canada

Carol Hills: Kathryn, for Canadians, how stunning was this choice from President Biden? 

Kathryn Harrison: I think for some folks it is stunning due to the fact there is certainly been a good deal of denial from politicians. But truthfully, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. Joe Biden was section of the Obama administration that turned down the pipeline in 2015. In Could of 2020, he said he had opposed it all along and would cancel the pipeline if he was elected. He was elected, he said no. 

This pipeline is partly developed, and thousands of people today have been performing on it. The premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, experienced some robust terms at a push convention this 7 days. “This is a intestine punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies. Regrettably, it is an insult directed at the United States’ most crucial ally and trading husband or wife on Working day One particular of a new administration,” Kenney explained. Why is this pipeline so essential to Premier Kenney? 

There are a whole lot of causes. The oil market is extremely significant in Alberta as a resource of work, but also the oil that will movement by the pipeline is owned by Alberta. So, the provincial federal government depends quite greatly on royalties paid by oil corporations for the generation of that oil. And eventually, Mr. Kenney’s federal government invested in the spring of 2020 in the pipeline at a time that the venture was battling and couldn’t find personal-sector expenditure. The provincial govt invested $1.5 billion CAD [$1.18 USD] and presented yet another $6 billion CAD [$4.71 USD] in loan guarantees to shift the project forward, regardless of the uncertainty. So, I imagine Mr. Kenney’s outrage now is, in component, shifting blame and striving to overcome what has seriously been a really embarrassing failure to deal with his own taxpayers’ income. 

Relevant: Keystone oil spill casts doubt on protection of proposed XL pipeline

Does Justin Trudeau’s sort of flip-flopping on pipelines in conditions of the ones he’ll guidance and kinds he would not — does that make this rejection by Biden of the Keystone pipeline, does it in some approaches give Trudeau some political room to be bolder at property or to variety of lick his wounds a bit? 

Trudeau’s local climate coverage has been a very complex one. On one particular hand, the Trudeau govt has adopted some incredibly great insurance policies to handle Canada’s individual emissions. On the other hand, the Trudeau governing administration has also been supportive of expanded generation of Canadian oil and export. The intriguing concern ideal now is to what diploma Trudeau will conclude up proudly owning the failure, the rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline, even as he may get credit history for some of his climate insurance policies, or irrespective of whether, in point, this will be a wake-up contact for Canada’s oil sector that perhaps as the relaxation of the entire world takes motion on local climate adjust, markets for our extremely carbon-intense oil will evaporate quite promptly. 

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Basically, how considerably does the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline lessen the total of oil coming from the oil sands in Alberta? 

In indicating no to Keystone XL, President Biden is saying he does not want to raise imports from Canada even even further. They are not shutting down the current pipelines. Canada exports about 4 million barrels of oil for each working day, and that’s not heading to transform overnight. It seriously is a moment of uncertainty for Canada’s oil market. And how a lot oil will we be equipped to promote to foreign marketplaces if we can not get our oil to the US? 

My past question is, how do you anticipate Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden to operate together on weather change? I am curious about where do you think they overlap on this challenge and wherever they don’t.

I consider there’s a substantial overlap. I feel that the Trudeau authorities, the system that they declared in December is a really serious climate strategy. It is really not however steady with what requires to materialize to limit world wide warming to underneath 2 levels Celsius, but anything the US does tends to make it much easier for Canada to act.

One of the biggest parts I hope they’re going to function alongside one another on is emissions from motor autos. Canada and the US have a hugely built-in vehicle manufacturing sector. Canada is the smaller lover in that sector, so it would have been quite complicated for Canada to set its individual specifications for greenhouse fuel emissions from motor automobiles impartial of the US. So, it’s wonderful news for Canada that Biden is already going ahead to amend the polices for motor vehicle emissions that had been place in spot by the Trump administration. I hope we will see some action from the Biden administration on electrical automobiles. So, I believe there are a great deal of steps that the US can just take that Canada will match and other folks that will make it simpler for Canada to transfer forward with its possess local climate system. 

This job interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

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