Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison is disappointed that the Keystone XL pipeline was shelved on the day of U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration, calling it “devastating news.”

“We rely so much on the energy sector in Alberta. We have family, friends and neighbours that work directly in the energy sector, as well, our tourism is based in a lot of the Alberta folks coming to enjoy what we have in British Columbia,” said Morrison.

The pipeline would have transported roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

The expansion was initially approved by former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019.

Morrison believes the cancellation is the worst news that Kootenay-Columbia has heard in some time.

“I can’t see anyone being happy, especially if you look at anything to do with the economy. I am an advocate of cleaner energy, and the way to get there is to tax emitters to have research development done so that we can produce cleaner energy,” explained Morrison. “Without having the Keystone, for example, which is thousands and thousands of jobs, there’s no tax base.”

Morrison said Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole will work with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make sure he can negotiate with President Biden in Washington. Morrison hopes the negotiation will help get the pipeline back on the table.

“I’m hoping that clearer heads will prevail and we will be able to move forward and get our people back to work. Right now for us, in Kootenay-Columbia, our number one priority is getting people back to work and getting the economy going in a safe manner,” said Morrison.

Biden will have his first conversation with Trudeau since becoming president on Friday, January 22nd.