Keystone XL Pipeline Project Abandoned After Biden Yanks Permits


Pipeline company TC Energy formally cancelled the Keystone XL project Wednesday, months after President Joe Biden revoked a construction permit for the controversial $9 billion pipeline designed to carry crude oil from Canada to the United States.

Key Facts

TC Energy said it’s working with regulators to wind down the Keystone XL project, which broke ground last year and has already installed roughly 90 miles of pipeline in Alberta, according to the provincial government.

The government of Alberta said it’s working to recover the $1.3 billion in public money the province had invested in the project.

Crucial Quote

“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.

Key Background

First proposed more than a decade ago, the Keystone XL would have carried over 800,000 barrels of oil from Canada’s tar sand fields to the midwestern United States, a significant boost in American imports of Canadian oil. The project attracted years of controversy: Supporters touted the Keystone XL’s economic benefits and cast it as a way of shoring up the United States’ oil supply, while environmental advocates warned the pipeline could harm the areas it passes through and deepen the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Former President Barack Obama rejected permits for the project in 2015, but former President Donald Trump reversed course and allowed construction to move forward. Biden reversed course yet again on Inauguration Day, revoking permits in an executive order that argued the Keystone XL would “undermine U.S. climate leadership by undercutting the credibility and influence of the United States in urging other countries to take ambitious climate action.” 

Surprising Fact

Biden’s decision to cancel permits drew criticism and lawsuits from Republican state officials, but Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also joined the chorus of critics. In a phone call two days after Biden’s inauguration, Trudeau told the new U.S. president he’s disappointed in the cancellation, according to readouts from both countries.

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