Washington, D.C. – January 21, 2021 – Today, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) released the following statement from President Sean McGarvey in response to the KXL cancellation announced yesterday by the Biden Administration:

“Our congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris on their inauguration. The weight of the country is on your shoulders – godspeed.

“North America’s Building Trades Unions are deeply disappointed in the decision to cancel the Keystone XL permit on the President’s first official day in office. Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project.

“On a historic day that is filled with hope and optimism for so many Americans and people around the world, tens of thousands of workers are left to wonder what the future holds for them. In the midst of a pandemic that has claimed 400 thousand American lives and has wreaked havoc on the economic security and standard of living of tens of millions more, we must all stand in their shoes and acknowledge the uncertainty and anxiety this government action has caused.

“NABTU’s position remains unchanged. Our unions support an all of the above energy strategy that supports and grows the middle class and those desperately trying to reach it. Addressing climate change is a priority for all of us, but a truly sustainable future cannot continue to dismiss the economic sustainability of working families. We welcome this Administration and the architects of the opposition for this and hundreds of other projects to engage with us on a rational national strategy going forward that does not treat workers, their families, and entire communities as an afterthought, but makes them equal to economic and climate imperatives

“As the hard but necessary work begins to unite a bitterly divided nation, NABTU will continue to advocate for our members, all construction workers and indeed all of America’s economic, energy and national security.”


Media Contact: Betsy Barrett (202) 756-4623 |

About NABTU: North America’s Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 national and international unions in the building and construction industry that collectively represent over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest almost $2 billion in private-sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America that produce the safest, most highly trained, and productive, skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world. NABTU is dedicated to creating economic security and employment opportunities for its construction workers by safeguarding wage and benefits standards, promoting responsible private capital investments, investing in renowned apprenticeship and training, and creating pathways to the middle class for women, communities of color and military veterans in the construction industry. For more information, please visit, and to learn more about the building trades efforts during this pandemic, please follow the hashtag #buildingtradeswhateverittakes.