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Trump & Trudeau support for KXL likely to renew pipeline fight

While President-elect Donald Trump and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may seem like political opposites they do share at least one common goal – approval of the TransCanada 830,000 barrel per day Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

In October 2013, when Trudeau visited Washington, CBC reported, “The Montreal MP said during the talk that he supports TransCanada’s proposed pipeline that would carry crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast because it would be good for Canada and the U.S. He acknowledged that his position may have surprised some in an audience that would have included strong critics of the project.”

Trudeau highlighted, “My support for Keystone is steadfast. …The fact that I’d be talking positively about the project I think got people thinking about the fact that perhaps it’s not as bad as it’s been caricatured.”

And then when President Barack Obama rejected the pipeline in November 2015, Trudeau stated, “We are disappointed by the decision but respect the right of the United States to make the decision.”

As early as May 2016, CBC reported, “Trump said that he would approve TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline proposal if elected, reversing a decision by the administration of President Barack Obama to block it over environmental concerns. ‘I would absolutely approve it, 100 per cent, but I would want a better deal. I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits. That’s how we’re going to make our country rich again.'”

And now, just hours after President-elect Trump’s win was confirmed at around 3 am this morning, the Canadian Press reports, “TransCanada Corp. says it’s evaluating ways to engage the newly elected Donald Trump administration on the potential benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline. Company spokesman Mark Cooper said Wednesday that TransCanada remains fully committed to building the controversial project that U.S. President Barack Obama rejected last year.”

Filling the Keystone XL pipeline with tar sands crude would facilitate a 36 per cent increase in current tar sands production and increase greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 22 million tonnes a year. The 1,897 kilometre pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to Houston, Texas would also – just like the Dakota Access Pipeline – cross numerous waterways and put drinking water at risk.

The Council of Canadians travelled to Washington numerous times to join protests against the pipeline, including calling on the Canadian embassy in August 2011 to demand that they stop lobbying for the pipeline, participating in the Surround the White House action in November 2011, and the Forward on Climate protest in February 2013.

We will work with our American and Indigenous allies in the United States to ensure that the Keystone XL pipeline is never built.