Need an Expert? Biden’s impact on the Keystone XL pipeline

Posted on Monday, January 18, 2021


Joe Biden has indicated he will cancel the Keystone XL agreement with Canada once he takes office as President of the United States. What are the ramifications of such a decision to Canada?

Members of the media may directly contact the following experts:

Jean-Thomas Bernard (English and French)

Visiting Professor, Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor Bernard’s expertise relates to government policies relating to energy, the economic aspects of energy use, and analysis of energy markets.


Louis Simard (French only)

Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

“This decision reflects the very high degree of politicization within the energy sector and mega oil  development projects, including the difficultly of linking the idea of long-term sustainable development with short-term cycles of political representation (elections).

“More than ever, social acceptability is at the heart of major infrastructure and development projects. Cancelling the Keystone XL project is a sign of the renewed legitimacy of the fight against climate change. But what are the economic and political effects and the limits of such a cancellation?”

The environmental impact

Jeremy Kerr (English only – anglais seulement)

Full Professor and University Research Chair in Macroecology and Conservation Chair, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences.

"The Keystone XL pipeline is dedicated to diluted bitumen to refineries in the US, which would impose a long-term cost in terms of carbon emissions that is the exact opposite of what is most urgently needed. Biden's commitment to addressing the climate emergency and moving the US to zero net carbon emissions by 2050 necessitates cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. To protect its workers, Alberta needs to embrace zero carbon energy industries and stop doubling down on bad bets.”

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