Keystone XL Pipeline

This March 11, 2020 photo provided by the Bureau of Land Management shows the proposed route of the Keystone XL oil pipeline where it crosses into the U.S. from Canada in Phillips County, Mont.

(The Center Square) – One of President Joe Biden’s first executive orders drew concerns from U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who said it will cost jobs and hurt the economy.

On Wednesday, Biden signed an order rescinding the presidential permit that allowed for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Before the order, Canadian company TC Energy Corp. announced it had suspended work on the 1,700-mile pipeline.

Portman, an Ohio Republican, said he wants to work with the new administration and called the order unfortunate.

“As I’ve said previously, I want to work with the Biden administration to address the most pressing challenges facing our country. As the U.S. continues to struggle amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unfortunate that one of the Biden administration’s first actions will cost American jobs and hurt our economy,” Portman said. “The pipeline is creating thousands of good-paying union jobs, boosting our manufacturing sector and strengthening our energy security in cooperation with Canada, one of our closest allies.”

The pipeline, if finished, would carry approximately 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast. Passing through six U.S. states, the project has faced multiple legal challenges.

It was originally blocked by President Barack Obama for environmental concerns but came back to life under the Trump administration.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called Biden’s decision politically motivated and said it will hurt American consumers.

“The pipeline – the most studied infrastructure project in American history – is already under construction and has cleared countless legal and environmental hurdles. This is a politically motivated decision that is not grounded in science,” Marty Durbin, president of the chamber’s Global Energy Institute, said. “It will harm consumers and put thousands of Americans in the building trades out of work.”

Portman said the project plays a key role in the country’s diversified energy program and helps to lower energy costs for consumers.

“I have long said that the Keystone XL Pipeline is an essential component of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy that uses all sources of American energy – from nuclear to fossil to renewables to energy efficiency measurers – that will enhance U.S. energy security needed to compete and succeed in the decades ahead,” Portman said. “I urge the Biden administration to re-examine its decision so that the Keystone XL Pipeline can create jobs, lower energy prices and help grow our economy.”

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.