A few days before the new US president takes office, we learn that Alberta has spent $ 1.1 million on lobbying, hoping, in particular, that Joe Biden changes his mind about the controversial pipeline Keystone XL.
The pipeline was cleared by the Trump administration just before the election. President-elect Joe Biden, however, has promised to reverse this decision and block construction of the pipeline supposed to carry oil from Alberta to Texas.
Feeling the pressure, Jason Kenney’s Conservative government signed contracts with three pressure groups in Washington at the end of 2020, the Globe and Mail revealed on Saturday.
This investment of $ 1.1 million is intended to strengthen the team already present in the United States to defend the economic interests of the province, among others to make Keystone XL a reality.
The Alberta government itself has a financial interest in this project, since it is co-owner of TC Énergie, the company behind the pipeline.
He put $ 1.5 billion in the company, in addition to a loan guarantee of over $ 6 billion, which means that the Alberta Petroleum Marketing Commission, a provincial crown corporation, is committed to assume the pipeline construction debt.
This project has been supported by the Alberta government from the start, but the federal government is also in favor.
Keystone XL was also one of the topics of discussion during the phone call between Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau last November.
For now, the President-elect’s first steps bode well for Keystone XL.
Joe Biden will notably appoint Deb Haaland as head of the Department of Natural Resources. The first Native to serve in the US government, she demonstrated in 2016 against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in the American Midwest.
Interestingly, the fees of one of the firms hired by the province would not have been the same if Donald Trump had been re-elected.
The contract states that Crossroads Strategies LLC would have sold its services for US $ 25,000 per month, in a scenario where Donald Trump would have remained in the White House. As Joe Biden won the election, the firm raised its monthly price to US $ 30,000.