Watching the Canadian media, particularly the CBC, cover Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline has been deeply disappointing.
First, few reporters clearly state that Biden made this decision because the experts in his administration determined the project was out of step with the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to a safe level. Instead, the decision has been framed as political. However, by following up the Keystone rejection by suspending oil and gas leasing on federal lands and promising sweeping climate action Biden has demonstrated that this is more than just a political gesture.
Second, the media in Canada continue to frame Keystone XL as a pipeline with broad public support. There is no current evidence for that. Nor is there evidence that Keystone is in Canada’s national interest. In fact, a recent report from the Canada Energy Regulator showed that the Keystone XL and Trans Mountain pipelines don’t fit within Canada’s climate promises and don’t make economic sense.
Last, almost no attention has been paid to Trudeau or Jason Kenney’s failure to deliver real support for workers. In 2019 Trudeau promised a Just Transition Act to support workers, but now, nearly two years later, the bill hasn’t gone anywhere. Kenney and Trudeau are spending billions of public dollars on pipelines and next to nothing on a transition. The Canadian media should hold them to account.