Joe Biden made more comments about the Keystone XL pipeline project on Friday and Alberta’s premier was quick to fire back.
The presumptive Democratic nominee reiterated his promise to stop the project if he’s elected U.S. president.
“I’ve been against Keystone from the beginning. It is tarsands that we don’t need — that in fact is very, very high pollutant,” Biden said in an interview with CNBC.
Biden said he wouldn’t want to stop all oil projects immediately, but vowed to transition the U.S. “gradually… to a clean economy.”
He said Keystone “does not economically, nor, in my view, environmentally, make any sense.”
At a news conference in Calgary, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was asked about what Biden said.
“It’s a hugely important strategic development for the United States that North America is now energy independent — no longer dependent on imports from OPEC dictatorships like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.”
READ MORE: Trudeau vows to press any U.S. government on Keystone after Biden threatens to ‘rip up’ approvals if elected
Kenney also pointed out the impact the original Keystone pipeline has on American jobs.
“The Keystone pipeline began operating a decade ago,” the premier said. “It delivers about 600,000 barrels a day of heavy Alberta crude to refineries primarily in the Midwest in Illinois.
“So, a whole lot of jobs and the economy in the American Midwest are dependent on that supply of energy through the Keystone pipeline.”
“We would hope to have a chance to ensure Mr. Biden was aware of these facts and also aware that the building trades union, the construction unions, the steelworkers unions — which are traditional supporters of Mr. Biden’s party — are strongly in favour of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, which has already crossed the border, which is creating thousands of jobs on both sides of the border and which will ensure that the United States is no longer dependent on OPEC crude,” Kenney said.
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