TC Energy terminates Keystone XL pipeline project

Ross Houston
June 10, 2021

"We remain grateful to the many organizations that supported the Project and would have shared in its benefits", said TC Energy CEO Francois Poirier in the news release.

The pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the tar sands of Canada into the USA, has been at the center of Republican and Democratic debates since its inception during George W. Bush's final years in the White House.

TC Energy walking away from the Keystone XL pipeline project, ending a decade-plus battle that pitted the energy industry against environmentalists as oilsands producers sought to export Canadian crude.

According to a news release, the company said it "will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders, and Indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the Project".

The announcements come after US president Joe Biden signed an executive order to revoke the pipeline's permit on his first day in office in January - a move he had promised during his election campaign.

Final costs to the government are expected to be materially within $1.3 billion, in alignment with previously disclosed costs.

Construction on the pipeline was suspended earlier this year after newly elected U.S. President Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to cancel its presidential permit in January.

Climate change activists viewed the expansion of oil sands development as an environmental disaster that could speed up global warming as the fuel is burned.

While the project has always been backed by Ottawa, Keystone XL had been opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups.

On Montana's Fort Belknap Reservation, tribal president Andy Werk Jr. described the end of Keystone as a relief to Native Americans who stood against it out of concerns a line break could foul the Missouri River or other waterways.

"The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline extension is devastating".

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee, was more direct: "President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline and with it, thousands of good-paying American jobs".

Republicans have already seized on TC Energy's announcement and pointed the recent ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline system for several days. "The Company will continue to build on its 70-year history of success and leverage its diverse businesses in natural gas and liquids transportation along with storage and power generation to continue to meet the growing and evolving demand for energy across the continent".

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