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AFL-CIO head said he wished Biden hadn't canceled Keystone XL on his first day

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he wished that President Biden hadn’t canceled the Keystone XL pipeline project on his first day in office and instead paired it with an announcement about job creation, according to an interview clip that was published Sunday

Trumka told Axios’s Jonathan Swan that the Laborers’ International Union of North America was right to condemn Biden for signing an executive order to rescind the Keystone XL pipeline permit, which the union said will cost 1,000 jobs and 10,000 projected construction jobs. 

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“It did and will cost us jobs in the process,” Trumka said in the interview. “I wish he had paired that more carefully with the thing that he did second by saying here’s where we’re creating jobs.”

The AFL-CIO president said he thinks Biden realized he made a mistake by not jointly announcing job creation plans saying, “the next time the subject came up it was done the right way.”

Trumka said he didn’t know if Biden would shut down other pipelines, adding, “I know this, if he does he’ll pair it with job creation that will be greater than the number of jobs lost.”

When asked about the president’s plan to stop new fracking on federal lands, Trumka said, “I’m sure if he promised to do it he probably will,” noting, “he promised to shut down XL.”

“He’s a man of his word,” the AFL-CIO president told Axios. “But he’s also promised to create jobs, good union jobs, and be the best union president that we’ve ever had. And I believe he’ll do that as well.”

White House spokesperson Vedant Patel responded to Trumka's Axios interview in a statement to The Hill, saying “President Biden has proposed transformative investments in infrastructure that will not only create millions of good union jobs but also help tackle the climate crisis.” 

Environmentalists and Native American groups had protested the Keystone XL pipeline project for years, while TC Energy, the company in charge of the project, previously launched a lawsuit against the U.S. government that it dropped when former President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE took office.