President Joe Biden is facing backlash across the country after he signed an Executive Order last week that canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, a move that also drew criticism from Canada. The move by Biden comes after he signed Executive Orders on a wide range of issues last week during his first days in office, including orders on climate and energy matters.
Josh Senk, general manager of Michels Corporation, slammed Biden during a press conference in Wisconsin, saying, “The recent actions of President Joe Biden, the Executive Order halting the construction of the Keystone pipeline has effected Michels, thousands of union trade members across the country, and hundreds of guys that specifically work in Wisconsin.”
Senk later said that “hundreds of guys” have already been laid off.
The Associated Press noted that local leaders in New Mexico were worried about the impact that Biden’s decisions on placing a moratorium on drilling on public lands would have on their state and leaders in Utah have asked Biden to reconsider his decision.
“During his inauguration, President Biden spoke about bringing our nation together. Eliminating drilling on public lands will cost thousands of New Mexicans their jobs and destroy what’s left of our state’s economy,” Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway told the AP. “How does that bring us together? Environmental efforts should be fair and well-researched, not knee-jerk mandates that just hurt an already impoverished state.”
Native American tribes have also reportedly been angered by Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline. In a letter to the Biden administration, Luke Duncan, the chairman of the Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee, wrote:
The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation respectfully requests that you immediately amend Order No. 3395 to provide an exception for energy permits and approvals on Indian lands. The Ute Indian Tribe and other energy producing tribes rely on energy development to fund our governments and provide services to our members.
Your order is a direct attack on our economy, sovereignty, and our right to self-determination. Indian lands are not federal public lands. Any action on our lands and interests can only be taken after effective tribal consultation.
Order No. 3395 violates the United States treaty and trust responsibilities to the Ute Indian Tribe and violates important principles of tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Your order was also issued in violation (of) our government-to-government relationship. Executive Order No. 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, and Interior’s own Policy on Consultation with Tribal Governments.
The order must be withdrawn or amended to comply with Federal law and policies. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward from hearing from you.
Multiple unions that endorsed Biden during his presidential campaign — including the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters — have since slammed Biden for canceling the pipeline. LIUNA said that the decision would “kill thousands of good-paying UNION jobs!”
“In revoking this permit, the Biden Administration has chosen to listen to the voices of fringe activists instead of union members and the American consumer on Day 1,” Mark McManus, General President of the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. “Let me be very clear: When built with union labor by the men and women of the United Association, pipelines like Keystone XL remain the safest and most efficient modes of energy transportation in the world. Sadly, the Biden Administration has now put thousands of union workers out of work. For the average American family, it means energy costs will go up and communities will no longer see the local investments that come with pipeline construction.”
Local media organizations across the country have also reported on the negative impacts that Biden’s executive orders on energy have had on their states.
This article has been revised for clarity and emphasis.