Jason Jernigan, who is part of the vast number of people unemployed from the Keystone XL Pipeline project after it was canceled by Joe Biden just days after he took office as president, said Monday, March 1, on Fox News’s “America’s Newsroom” that he now doesn’t know how he’s going to make a living. “This is all I know how to do.”
“I spent my whole life learning this craft and this skill and it’s not as easy as somebody might think or people might think to just start all over at 45 years old,” said Jernigan, who worked at Local 798.
“I guess I could possibly get a job as a greeter at Walmart, I don’t know,” he added, according to Fox News.
On his first day as president, Biden rescinded the permit for the construction of the Keystone Pipeline project along with several executive orders in defense of the controversial climate change agreement.
The project, which was reactivated under the Trump administration, and made part of one of his campaign policies after being suspended during the Obama administration, had agreed to hire thousands of workers in the United States and Canada.
The estimated investment in the mega project reached $8 billion, would have an extension of 1,243 miles and would be located between Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, and Steele City, Nebraska, United States.
The pipeline was intended to transport Canadian crude oil to the United States and also presented a positive outlook for national security as it was a project that was expected to achieve energy independence from the Middle East.
TC Energy, the company responsible for the mega project along with several unions sought to persuade Biden by highlighting the benefits of Keystone XL; assuring that it would provide thousands of jobs; a $10 million training fund; $500 million for suppliers and indigenous jobs; and 100% renewable energy to operate the pipeline.
The president of the International Union of Operating Engineers, James T. Callahan, said, “North America is in desperate need of more modern, safe, and efficient energy infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Jernigan had been hired to work on the Keystone Pipeline last year when then-President Trump signed the go-ahead for the project, and was supposed to start next month, as reported by Fox News.
The former worker on the third-generation oil and gas project claimed the Biden administration had taken away his livelihood. “I’ve been pipelining for 21 years. This is all I know to do,” he noted.
“The recent administration has taken my livelihood from me and expecting me to get a job somewhere else. I’ve got my whole life invested in this,” he added.
According to Jernigan, he signed his contract to work on the Keystone Pipeline while President Obama was in office, ensuring that the mega project, which has been under construction for more than 12 years, was again canceled, as it was under Obama.