LUBBOCK, Texas – On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that revoked a presidential construction permit needed to to finish the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The $8 billion project was set to transport oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
It has been considered “controversial”, especially when President Barack Obama rejected the permit in 2015, and then when President Donald Trump restored the permit in 2017.
Many Democrats and progressive groups believe the Keystone XL Pipeline produces more greenhouse emissions and displaces Native American communities along the route. Many Republicans and pro-energy causes believe the project is “necessary infrastructure” and keeps the United States from being oil-dependent on Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia.
“There is a middle ground because you can be in favor of the pipeline because it’s part of an infrastructure that we need today while at the same time, recognize climate change and promote green energies for the future,” said Michael Noel, an economics professor at Texas Tech University.
Noel said Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline will affect oil production in West Texas.
“If you are a developer in West Texas, this is potentially a good thing for you because not as much oil from Canada is coming down here and that means less competition,” said Noel.
But Noel said West Texas oil refineries will most likely suffer from a significant financial hit.
“If you’re a refiner, you’re going to lose because the pipeline would’ve brought additional supply down to the refineries so you would be able to refine more oil,” said Noel. “The refineries in Texas are built to refine that type of oil and that pipeline was gonna make that a little more efficient.”