BILLINGS, Mont. – The sponsor of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline pulled the plug on the controversial project on Wednesday after Canadian officials did not persuade President Joe Biden to reverse his cancellation of the permit the day he took office.
Calgary-based TC Energy said it would work with government agencies “to ensure the safe completion and exit” of the partially built line that was to transport crude from the oil sands in western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.
Construction of the 1,930-kilometer (1,930-kilometer) pipeline began last year when former President Donald Trump revived the long-delayed project after it stopped under the Obama administration. It would have moved up to 830,000 barrels (35 million gallons) raw daily and connected in Nebraska to other pipelines feeding oil refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Biden canceled the pipeline̵
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had opposed the movement and raised tensions between the United States and Canada. Officials in Alberta, where the line originates, have expressed frustration in recent weeks that Trudeau did not push Biden harder to reintroduce the pipeline permit.
Alberta invested more than $ 1 billion. $ In the project last year and started construction that had stalled amid targeted resistance to the line from environmentalists and Native American tribes along its route.
Alberta officials said Wednesday they had reached an agreement with TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, to leave the partnership. The company and the province plan to try to recover the government investment, though none of them gave any immediate details on how it would happen.
“We remain disappointed and frustrated by the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.
The province had hoped the pipeline would spur increased development in the oil sands and bring in $ 10 billion in royalties over decades.
Climate change activists saw the expansion of oil sands development as an environmental disaster that could accelerate global warming when fuel is burned. That made Keystone a hotspot in the climate debate, and it became the focus of rallies and protests in Washington, DC and other cities.
Environmentalists who had been fighting for the project since it was first announced in 2008 said its cancellation marks a “milestone moment” in efforts to limit the use of fossil fuels.
“Good release for Keystone XL,” Jared Margolis told the Center for Biological Diversity, one of many environmental groups that sued to stop it.
At the Montana Fort Belknap Reservation, Tribal President Andy Werk Jr. described the end of Keystone as a relief to Indians who faced it out of concern whether a line break could disrupt the Missouri River or other waterways.
Lawyers from 21 states had sued to overturn the City’s cancellation of the pipeline, which would have created thousands of construction jobs. Republicans in Congress have made the cancellation a frequent talk in their criticism of the administration, and even some moderate Senate Democrats, including Montana’s Jon Tester and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, had called on Biden to reconsider.
Tester said in a statement Wednesday that he was disappointed with the project’s death, but did not mention Biden.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, was more direct: “President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline and thus thousands of well-paid U.S. jobs.”
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on TC Energy’s announcement. In his January 20 cancellation order, Biden said letting the line continue “would not be in line with my government’s economic and climate imperatives.”
TC Energy said in canceling the pipeline that the company is focused on meeting “evolving energy needs” as the world shifts to different power sources. It said it has $ 7 billion in other projects under development.
Keystone XL’s price tag had ballooned as the project disappeared, rising from $ 5.4 billion to $ 9 billion. Meanwhile, oil prices fell sharply – from more than $ 100 per barrel. Barrel in 2008 to below $ 70 in recent months – which slowed the development of Canada’s oil sands and threatened to consume profits by moving the fuel to refineries.
Another TC Energy pipeline network, called just Keystone, has been supplying raw from Canada’s oil sands region since 2010. The company says on its website that Keystone has moved more than 3 billion barrels of raw from Alberta and an oil loading site in Cushing Oklahoma.