Biden has announced he is prepared to make concessions to keep the US from imposing tariffs on Canadian tar sands crude oil.
Biden is expected to tell the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thursday that the US would be willing to trade away a 30 per cent tariff on Canadian crude oil imports in exchange for a commitment by the Trump administration to allow American refiners to resume shipping Keystone XL crude oil to the US.
The pipeline would carry crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska.
“I am prepared to support a pipeline if there are certain conditions, including a willingness to move forward with a Keystone XL,” Biden said in a speech on Wednesday in his hometown of Dover, Delaware.
“I will make sure the American people know the conditions on which I will support a Keystone.”
Biden said he was willing to work with Trump and congressional Republicans to ensure that the project is approved.
But he also acknowledged that the administration has a “huge responsibility” to negotiate with Canada to get Keystone built.
Biden also said he expects to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a summit on Friday to discuss a bilateral deal on a pipeline, though it is unclear when the meeting will take place.
Biden said he will also discuss with the White House how best to ensure the safety of workers on the Keystone XL.
“The White House and the Department of Energy have a huge responsibility to ensure workers are safe,” Biden told the Energy and Environment Committee.
“That includes ensuring that the pipeline does not cross the border and cause significant risk to workers and the environment.”
A White House spokesperson said the meeting was planned months ago.
“This is just the first of many meetings to discuss Keystone XL and our efforts to ensure safety and environmental standards are met on the project,” the spokesperson said.
“We’re continuing to work closely with the government to ensure it can be completed safely.”
The US oil industry has been frustrated by delays on Keystone and other pipeline projects that could have benefited from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have lowered the tariffs to protect US oil exports from countries like China.