Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is not giving up in his fight to change the status of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
On his first day in office Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order to cancel the permit for the pipeline.
That same day, Kenney did not mince words and vowed to do everything in his power to change the Biden Administration’s stance on the pipeline.
Kenney doubled down Thursday, penning a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asking him to do more to defend Alberta’s interest and fight for the pipeline.
“We must find a path to a reconsideration of Keystone XL within the context of a broader North American energy and climate agreement,” Kenney wrote in the letter.
“Our energy and climate goals must be viewed in the context of that integrated system, and it is in our mutual interest to develop an agreement that will enable a path to export Alberta and Canada’s most valuable commodity while providing the US with a source of reliable energy produced with the highest environmental standards.”
Trudeau was set to have a phone call with Biden Friday afternoon and they were expected to discuss the pipeline.
In the letter, Kenney invoked a 2018 U.S. tariff on steel and aluminum and the Canadian response as a possible path for Trudeau this time around. Canada responded with tariffs of its own on the U.S., during that dispute.
Failing that, Kenney pleaded with the Prime Minister to ask the Americans for some sort of compensation for TC Energy Corp., a Calgary company that owns the pipeline and the Government of Alberta. Kenney says Alberta and TC Energy should be owed billions of dollars for construction costs already incurred.
“These costs were incurred on the assumption that the United States has a predictable regulatory framework, and based on the presidential permit authorizing the Keystone XL border crossing, which was installed in 2019,” Kenney wrote.
“For the United States to retroactively cancel the permit, on the basis of which investment decisions were made, is a clear violation of the investor-protection provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.”
Alberta has invested $1.5 billion directly to TC Energy Corp. for the Keystone project along with contractual commitments of $6 billion more in loan guarantees.
Kenney has said if the project is scrapped, Alberta taxpayers could be on the hook for about $1 billion.
The 1,947-kilometre pipeline is designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. From there it would connect with the company’s existing facilities to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast — one of the world’s biggest oil refining hubs.
TC Energy also proposed earlier this week to spend US$1.7 billion on a solar, wind and battery-powered operating system for the pipeline to ensure it achieves net-zero emissions by 2030.
— With files from The Canadian Press