Construction on the long disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline has halted as incoming US President Joe Biden revoked its permit on his first day in office.
The 2735-kilometre pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.
"The permit is hereby revoked," Biden's executive order says. "Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration's economic and climate imperatives."
Keystone XL President Richard Prior said more than 1000 jobs would be eliminated in the coming weeks. "We will begin a safe and orderly shutdown of construction," he said.
First proposed in 2008, the pipeline has become emblematic of the tensions between economic development and curbing the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change. The Obama administration rejected it but President Donald Trump revived it and has been a strong supporter.
The premier of the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta called Biden's decision an "insult" and said the federal Canadian government should impose trade sanctions if it was not reversed. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a conciliatory tone.
"We are disappointed but acknowledge the President's decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL," Trudeau said in a statement on Wednesday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would call Trudeau on Friday, the first call with a foreign leader after Biden took the oath of office. Psaki said the pipeline would be discussed.
Trudeau raised Keystone XL as a top priority when he spoke with Biden in a phone call in November. The project is meant to expand critical oil exports for Canada, which has the third-largest oil reserves in the world and is America's number one source of foreign oil.
Trudeau and Biden are politically aligned and there are expectations for a return to normal relations after four years of Trump but the pipeline is an early irritant as Biden has long said he would cancel it.
Australian Associated Press