Keystone XL pipeline canceled over Biden’s decision to pull permit

The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline announced Wednesday that it had pulled the plug on the project, citing President Biden’s decision to rescind its cross-border permit, bringing the 13-year battle over the major infrastructure project to an end.

TC Energy said it decided to abandon the 1,700-mile extension, which would have carried crude oil from Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska, after a “comprehensive review of its options” and consultation with its partner, the Alberta government.

“Construction activities to advance the project were suspended following the revocation of its Presidential Permit on January 20, 2021,” the company said in a statement. “The company 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.”

Republicans reacted by renewing their criticism of Mr. Biden for pulling the permit, which President Trump approved in 2017.

“This is devastating news for our economy, jobs, environment and national security, and it’s entirely President Biden’s fault,” said Sen. Steve Daines, Montana Republican. “It’s beyond clear that President Biden is beholden to extreme environmentalists, and Montanans and the American people are bearing the burden.”

Supporters said the pipeline project would have brought millions of dollars in economic activity and thousands of direct and indirect jobs to the region and would have increased the nation’s energy independence while providing an environmentally preferable alternative to transporting oil by rail or truck.

Mr. Daines pointed out that the Biden administration recently waived sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to allow Russia to deliver natural gas to Germany.

“While President Biden killed the American Keystone XL pipeline, he continues to support the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline,” Mr. Daines said. “Biden would rather support Russian workers and jobs than Americans. Montanans and the American people are disappointed.”

Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute, said the episode is a “black mark for our relationship with our close ally to the north, Canada, and will have repercussions for our ability to attract private investment for years to come.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposed Mr. Biden’s decision to scrap the permit on the $8 billion project. Mr. Biden made the move on his first day in office.

“We also must not forget the opportunity cost for thousands of American workers, some of which already have lost their jobs on this project, and the communities along the pipeline route that would have received millions in tax revenue to support their schools and infrastructure,” Mr. Durbin said.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune hailed the decision to kill the project. He called it “a testament to what we can accomplish when we come together with the shared goal of protecting our communities, our clean water and the climate.”

“This is a major victory for our movement, and it won’t be the last,” Mr. Brune said. “We will continue to work tirelessly to restore the right of every community to clean air, clean water, and a sustainable, healthy climate, starting by making sure the destructive Line 3 and Dakota Access pipelines meet the same fate as Keystone XL.”

The pipeline would have the capacity to deliver 830,000 gallons of oil per day to Nebraska, where it was designed to hook up with an existing pipeline on its way to refineries at the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr. Biden’s decision to revoke the permit marked a return to the pre-Trump status quo. President Obama rejected the pipeline in November 2015. He said it would undercut U.S. leadership on climate change shortly before talks on the Paris Agreement.

We value the strong relationships built through the development of this project. We remain grateful to the organizations that supported the project and would have shared in its benefits.#KeystoneXL #TCEnergy https://t.co/l4zuxwGAdC

— TC Energy (@TCEnergy) June 9, 2021

TC Energy President and CEO Francois Poirier said the company was grateful to the pipeline’s supporters, including “our customers, pipeline building trade unions, local communities, Indigenous groups, elected officials, landowners, the government of Canada, contractors and suppliers, industry associations and our employees.

“Through the process, we developed meaningful indigenous equity opportunities and a first-of-its-kind, industry leading plan to operate the pipeline with net-zero emissions throughout its lifecycle,” he said. “We will continue to identify opportunities to apply this level of ingenuity across our business going forward, including our current evaluation of the potential to power existing U.S. assets with renewable energy.”

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