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Good morning. It’s James Keller in Calgary.

The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline was sealed as soon as Joe Biden won the presidential election in the United States.

Mr. Biden had made it clear earlier in the year that he would cancel the US$8-billion proposed pipeline expansion between Alberta and Nebraska if elected. And while proponents in Canada, including Alberta’s Premier, held out hope that it wouldn’t happen, Mr. Biden had given no indication that he had changed his mind or was open to another option. Mr. Biden was vice-president when then-president Barack Obama vetoed the project in 2015.

In Alberta, the election outcome posed significant challenges to the province’s finances and oil patch. The industry was counting on the project to expand constrained pipeline capacity and bolster shipments to the U.S. markets. The provincial government also took on its own risk by investing $1.5-billion in the project and promising billions more in loan guarantees – money that could be washed away by a stroke of Mr. Biden’s pen.

The wishful thinking that the project could be saved continued into this week, when leaked transition documents indicating Mr. Biden planned to cancel the project on Day 1 sent officials in Alberta and Ottawa scrambling in an attempt to stop the inevitable.

Even before the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, TC Energy Corp. suspended work on the project. Mr. Biden signed an executive order making it official a few hours later. And by the end of the day, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was calling for economic sanctions to retaliate.

While the news was painful, The Globe’s Jeffrey Jones says it was no surprise for the industry, which had been reading the same news reports as everyone else and had been preparing for Mr. Biden to follow through on his election promise. It is also not a death blow to the oil patch, he writes, which has seen conditions change considerably in the 13 years since Keystone XL was first proposed.

There are other options for moving crude to Alberta’s largest customer, and the industry is also grappling with a growing realization that a transition from fossil fuels is under way.

There are also other pipelines under construction to export Canadian crude, including the replacement for Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 to the Midwest and the Trans Mountain Expansion Project to the Pacific.

The project’s potential demise is also a blow to 1,000 newly laid-off workers and the small communities along the route that had already been benefiting from construction work.

That includes people like Emily Lai, whose small family restaurant in Oyen, Alta., about three hours east of Calgary, has been surviving on business from pipeline workers. She told The Globe’s Kelly Cryderman that she’s now anxious about the future of the business.

“My husband is feeling sad, too, and worried about the business,” said Ms. Lai.

Mr. Kenney continues to push for the federal government to fight the Biden administration, writing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a letter demanding that Ottawa impose retaliatory sanctions or demand financial compensation if the pipeline ultimately dies.

Mr. Kenney says the decision to target a previously approved project would set a troubling precedent and he argues that opposition to Keystone XL is based on outdated information about the project and about Alberta’s oil sands. He has repeatedly accused “foreign funded” environmentalists of targeting the industry, and on Wednesday he singled out members of Mr. Biden’s team.

The federal Liberals, which have long been a target for Mr. Kenney, have publicly supported the pipeline project but appear uninterested in taking up the fight.

Mr. Trudeau issued a statement immediately after the presidential order saying he was disappointing with the decision but accepts it, and his government has signalled repeatedly this week that it would rather work with Mr. Biden on other areas rather than dwell on Keystone.

The Keystone decision is part of a wider effort from Mr. Biden to bring climate change back into focus for the United States. Mr. Biden also plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement and has set other ambitious targets such as a clean power grid by 2035.

As Adam Radwanski writes, the Biden administration not only appears willing to ruffle feathers with policy decisions on the climate issue, but also take a global leadership role in a way that it hasn’t even under previous Democratic presidents.

This is the weekly Western Canada newsletter written by B.C. Editor Wendy Cox and Alberta Bureau Chief James Keller. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for it and all Globe newsletters here. This is a new project and we’ll be experimenting as we go, so let us know what you think.