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Contractors, congressmen decry Biden’s decision to cancel Keystone XL

Bryan Steil, a Republican congressman from Janesville, speaks on Friday at a press conference held to protest President Joe Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Steil's office)

Bryan Steil, a Republican congressman from Janesville, speaks on Friday at a press conference held to protest President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Steil’s office)

Construction workers joined three Wisconsin congressmen in Racine County on Friday to protest President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel work on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Plans for the Keystone XL had called for building a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry about 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. But the Biden Administration revoked the permit for the project after citing concerns that it would contribute to climate change.

Two Wisconsin companies, Michels Corp. and Precision Pipeline, had won contracts to work on the project and about 1,000 construction workers, many of them in unions, were expected to be employed by it. At a press conference held on Friday in Franksville, congressmen Glenn Grothman, Bryan Steil and Scott Fitzgerald, all of them Wisconsin Republicans, decried the Biden Administration’s decision.

“Maybe to Joe Biden, Wisconsin construction jobs are easy to brush aside, but to the workers I spoke to today, these jobs are their livelihoods,” Steil said. “Wisconsin workers are bearing the brunt of this disastrous decision. I will continue fighting for our workers and their families, and oppose Biden’s job killing policy.”

Tim Michels, owner and vice president, said: “I urge President Biden to put American jobs and American energy independence first and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline permit.

Thousands of Wisconsin workers are impacted by this action and all Wisconsinites will be affected at the gas pump.”

First proposed in 2008, the Keystone XL pipeline has become emblematic of the tensions between proponents of economic development and proponents of curbing the sorts of fossil-fuel emissions that are causing climate change. The Obama administration rejected the project, but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter.

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