Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall took to social media Tuesday to support U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to sign an executive order advancing the Keystone XL pipeline.
The pipeline would begin in Hardisty, Alta., cross the southwest corner of Saskatchewan and end in Steel City, Neb.
In a Facebook post, Wall called the decision “a win for both our countries’ energy industries, for energy consumers and for energy security.”
“I have said before that if Keystone had been judged on its merits and on the facts – it would have been approved years ago,” Wall added.
He said the pipeline will mean about 2,200 jobs building 530 kilometres of pipeline in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Wall said the total price will be around $1.2 billion.
Wall wrote the pipeline is expected to bring in $3.5 million in property tax revenues per year in Alberta and $1.3 million in Saskatchewan.
The premier wrote he is also optimistic workers at the Evraz steel plant in Regina will benefit from Trump’s decision.
“(Evraz) participated in the Keystone project up to the point that it was shut down by the Obama Administration and are optimistic their company will continue to be involved in the project now that it has been approved to go forward.”
Minister of the Economy Dustin Duncan agrees western Canada needs to get it’s oil moving.
“We’re being penalised because we are basically at capacity. There is no way to off take any more oil through the system without additional pipeline capacity,” Duncan said.
And while Keystone won’t carry Saskatchewan oil, Duncan argues the pipeline will impact the province.
“Depending on if Evraz wins further parts of the bid with Trans-Canada it could mean continued support for the employment at Evraz but on the construction side it could mean 2200 jobs,” Duncan estimated.
Duncan also maintained the more western Canadian oil that flows to the States the more money will be generated for the province through property taxes charged to oil companies and the differential on the west texas crude price.
However, Trump also signed a notice requiring that all materials used in the pipeline be made in America. It remains unclear whether that would apply to sections of the pipeline built in Canada.
Steelworkers excited about pipeline
Steelworkers in the province are excited about the pipeline moving forward, always excited when more jobs become available.
“The expectation would be to go get the Canadian leg and then go from there,” said Mike Day, president of the United Steel Workers 5890 in Regina.
He also said it is concerning Trump wants to only use pipe made in America, stating the pipe made by Evraz has a history of not having issues.
He said they should be using “North American made” pipeline.
“Let’s not see things coming over on tonnes and tonnes, thousands of tonnes of steel and pipe and rebar coming across on ships and taking away good Canadian and U.S. jobs.”