An executive order by new President Joe Biden is already drawing ire from members of Illinois’ GOP Congressional Delegation. 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood, 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis, 15th District Congresswoman Mary Miller, and 12th District Congressman Mike Bost have all issued arguments against President Biden’s executive order canceling further construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that stretches from Canada into Illinois and down into Texas.
The $9 billion project was expected to transport 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day and according to Keystone XL’s website, was estimated to support about 11,000 jobs this year. The pipeline has a been a target of environmentalists and Democrat lawmakers for nearly a decade. The pipeline’s construction especially came under fire when toxic leaks were found during former President Donald Trump’s administration in South Dakota in 2017 and North Dakota in 2019. The Trump Administration had been a proponent of the pipeline since helping further construction with the permitting process, which had overturned President Barack Obama’s decision to block its construction.
In April, a U.S. Judge said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider effects on endangered species along the pipeline’s easement. Activists and Native American tribal members say the pipeline endangers water quality, breaks tribal land treaties, and pipeline construction brings the threat of human trafficking.
LaHood, Davis, Miller, and Bost said in a statement earlier last week that the pipeline brings a safe, efficient way to transport energy and creates good jobs in communities like Wood River and Patoka to the south at the pipeline’s pump stations and refineries in the state. The GOP delegation has urged Biden to pursue an “all-of-the-above energy approach” that protects energy and jobs. Alberta Canada Premier Jason Kenney told Fox Business on Tuesday that the canceling of construction would make the U.S. More dependent on OPEC oil imports. The province of Alberta invested $1.5 billion in the project, and Kenney says if the U.S. Renigs on the project, Canada should create economic sanctions. The Illinois portion of the pipeline was completed in 2010.