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Biden plans to rescind Keystone pipeline permit if elected, campaign says

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Biden plans to rescind Keystone pipeline permit if elected, campaign says

If elected in November, former Vice President Joe Biden's administration would rescind a federal permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, according to his campaign.

"Biden strongly opposed the Keystone pipeline in the last administration, stood alongside President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [John] Kerry to reject it in 2015, and will proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as president and stop it for good by rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit," Stef Feldman, policy director for Biden's campaign, said in a statement.

The statement marks the first time Biden's campaign has commented on how the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee would address the controversial project, according to Politico.

TC Energy stood by its proposal in a May 18 emailed statement, highlighting the economic and energy security benefits it expects the pipeline to bring, along with the pipeline's lengthy approval process.

"No other pipeline project in the history of the industry has been studied more than Keystone XL and every study has squarely concluded it can be built safely and in an environmentally sound manner," the company said. "More than a half-dozen Environmental Impact Studies have been done on Keystone XL over the past 10 years, including the latest U.S. Department of State [final environmental impact statement, or] FEIS, which was released in December of 2019."

The Association of Oil Pipe Lines, too, homed in on the pipeline's economic role. "Revoking good-paying pipeline construction jobs is the exact opposite of what our struggling nation needs to get back to work," Andrew Black, the association's president and CEO of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, said in a statement.

Since the pipeline crosses international lines, it requires a presidential permit. The Obama administration rejected that permit in 2015. As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump vowed to help pave the way for the pipeline, and he signed executive actions to facilitate its construction shortly after his 2017 inauguration. A few months later, the Trump administration granted a presidential permit for TC Energy Corp., then called TransCanada Corp., to construct the pipeline.

TC Energy began working on the 830,000-barrel-per-day pipeline in early April in Montana, following the company's decision to commit to the $8 billion project.

Citing the need to combat climate change, Feldman said stopping the pipeline was even more important today than it was when the Obama administration effectively halted the project.

"Stopping Keystone was the right decision then and it's still the right decision now," Feldman said. "When Biden takes office, we will have nine years left to stop the worst consequences of climate change, and Biden won't waste a single day."