Biden's To-Do List for First Day Just Got a New Addition

Sources say he'll yank the Keystone XL permit via executive action as soon as he takes office
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 9:30 AM CST
Sources: Biden's First Hours to Include Big Move on Pipeline
This April 13, 2020, photo provided by TC Energy shows workers installing a section of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline at the US-Canada border north of Glasgow, Mont.   (TC Energy via AP)

On Saturday, a memo from incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain to senior staff laid out dozens of executive orders that President-elect Biden is expected to sign within the first few days of his term. Not listed among them, per Politico: a plan to pull the permit for TC Energy's 1,200-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Canada to the Midwest. On Sunday, however, sources told CBC News that Biden not only wants to do just that, but that he'll do so on Inauguration Day. The words "Rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit" were reportedly seen in a briefing note listing Biden's first-day activities. The move would reverse one of President Trump's very first actions in office, when, just days after entering the White House, he issued an executive order to reboot pipeline construction that had been halted by the Obama administration.

Canada had been pleased with the Trump administration's push to keep the $8 billion pipeline going, and after Biden won the election in November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau phoned him to try to keep him on board. The project had become a sore spot among members of the Indigenous community, among others, who noted the disruption the pipeline would cause to their land, as well as with environmentalists who worried about the effect of leaks. Those critics are now hailing what looks to be one of the first big moves on Biden's ample to-do list, despite TC Energy's attempts to woo him with some overhauls, including a vow to use only renewable energy, per the Wall Street Journal. "President-elect Biden is showing courage and empathy to the farmers, ranchers, and tribal nations who have dealt with an ongoing threat that disrupted their lives for over a decade," Jane Kleeb, founder of the grassroots Bold Nebraska group, tells Politico. (More President-elect Biden stories.)

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