by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Joe Biden’s decision to kill the Keystone Pipeline on his first day in office cost the U.S. economy 59,000 jobs and $9.6 billion in economic growth, according to a study released last month by his own Energy Department.
The proposed 875-mile pipeline would have safely transported up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian border to Steel City, Nebraska, where it would have linked up existing pipelines to American refineries.
Far-Left environmentalists who want to make gas more expensive for working people opposed the project for years before Biden finally denied the last permit needed to begin construction. After Biden denied the permit, Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jim Risch (R-ID) passed a law requiring the Energy Department to issue a report on how many construction jobs were lost when the permit wasn’t built. On Dec. 23, months after the study was required to be released, the Energy Department finally released it, showing that 50 permanent jobs were lost when the project died, as well as 59,468 two-year temporary jobs.
“The Department of Energy finally admitted to the worst kept secret about the Keystone Pipeline: President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline sacrificed thousands of American jobs,” Risch said. “To make matters worse, his decision moved the U.S. further away from energy independence and lower gas prices at a time when inflation and gas prices are drastically impacting Americans’ pocketbooks.”
This denial of the Keystone permit is not the only thing Biden has done to make infrastructure harder to build in the U.S. His administration has also undone key reforms to the federal permitting process. This will drive up the cost of every infrastructure project tied to the federal government.