Missouri Republican Representative Sam Graves blasted a decision by President Joe Biden to end the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying the project’s cancellation will result in a loss of jobs and tax revenue.
Biden revoked a permit for the project as one of his first executive orders, fulfilling a campaign promise. The revocation cites environmental harm.
“I think it’s just horrible,” Graves said. “It’s going to impact energy prices, it’s going to impact property taxes, because there’s a lot of property taxes for all those schools, every place that that pipeline touches.”
The 1,700-mile pipeline was expected to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Another pipeline, owned by TransCanada Energy, which also owns Keystone XL, already stretches across Missouri. Only 1.2 miles of the XL pipeline had been built in Montana.
First proposed in 2008, 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 had been a strong supporter.
In an interview with News-Press NOW, Graves said 11,000 jobs would be lost, though Keystone XL President Richard Prior told the Associated Press that it was 1,000 jobs that would be cut “in the coming weeks.”
”It’s going to harm relations with Canada,” Graves said. “You can’t say ‘All right you can come in, you can do this pipeline,’ and then all of a sudden say ‘No, not anymore.’”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Biden’s decision is a gut punch for his province, which has a stake in the project.
“It is a insult directed at the United States’ most important ally and trading partner on day one of a new administration,” Kenney said.
Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, was less forceful in his language.
“We are disappointed but acknowledge the president’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Graves said opponents of the pipeline were operating under the assumption that pipelines are unsafe. He said if not for pipelines, oil would need to be carried by truck or by rail.
“Well, every one of those modes of transportation has exhaust,” Graves said. “It makes no sense whatsoever. Using a pipeline is the safest way to move materials.”
The National Resource Defense Council said an original Keystone pipeline leaked more than a dozen times.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.