The Biden administration published a congressionally mandated report highlighting the positive economic benefits the Keystone XL Pipeline would have had if President Biden didn’t revoke its federal permits.
The report, which the Department of Energy (DOE) completed in late December without any public announcement, says the Keystone XL project would have created up to 59,000 jobs and would have had a positive economic impact of up to $9.6 billion.
Immediately after taking office in January 2021, Biden canceled the pipeline’s permits, effectively shutting the project down.
“The Biden administration finally owned up to what we have known all along — killing the Keystone XL Pipeline cost good-paying jobs, hurt Montana’s economy and was the first step in the Biden administration’s war on oil and gas production in the United States,” Sen. Steve Daines. R-Mont., said Thursday in a statement. “Unfortunately, the administration continues to pursue energy production anywhere but the United States.”
“These policies may appeal to the woke left but hurt Montana’s working families,” he continued. “I’ll keep fighting back against Biden’s anti-energy agenda and supporting Montana energy projects and jobs.”
The DOE was forced to issue the report after Daines and Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, successfully inserted a bill mandating the report into the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Biden signed into law in November 2021. The agency was required to publish the report within 90 days of the bill’s passage but ultimately waited more than a year before releasing it.
Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline has received widespread criticism from Republican lawmakers and energy industry representatives who have argued it would have helped keep gas prices down and ensure energy security.
Keystone XL had been slated to be completed early this year and transport an additional 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to the U.S. through an existing pipeline network, according to its operator, TC Energy.
The project labor agreement that TC Energy signed in August 2020 with four labor unions promised the pipeline would create 42,000 American jobs and provide $2 billion in total wages.
TC Energy ultimately gave up on the project in June 2021 as a result of Biden’s decision. Last year, a federal judge tossed a legal challenge from nearly two dozen states asking the court to reinstate the pipeline’s permits.
“The Department of Energy finally admitted to the worst-kept secret about the Keystone Pipeline: President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline sacrificed thousands of American jobs,” Risch said Thursday.
“To make matters worse, his decision moved the U.S. further away from energy independence and lower gas prices at a time when inflation and gas prices are drastically impacting Americans’ pocketbooks,” he added.
“The president must turn to American-made energy and jobs rather than dictators and despots to fix the energy crisis he created on his first day in office.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.