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TC Energy abandons plans for Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL
Posted at 3:21 PM, Jun 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-09 19:54:38-04

The plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline has been terminated. Developer TC Energy Corporation confirmed Wednesday that after a comprehensive review of its options, the pipeline project is history.

Keystone XL would have carried oil through pipelines from Canada to Nebraska, including a large section of eastern Montana.

The proposed pipeline would have gone through 27 counties, including six in Montana. The total estimated property tax that would have been generated from the pipeline’s first full year in operation was approximately $55.6 million spread across the 27 counties.

TC Energy built about 90 miles of the Keystone XL project in Canada in 2020. They also built out a 1.2 mile border crossing into Montana.

The pipeline would have moved Canadian crude from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would have connected with other TC Energy pipelines to Cushing, Oklahoma, and the southeast Texas coast.

Construction on the pipeline was suspended following a permit revocation signed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. Biden, a Democrat, had reversed a decision by his predecessor, Republican Donald Trump, who had issued the permit in an attempt to revive the project after more than a decade of legal wrangling.

On his first day in office, Biden said the proposed oil pipeline "disserves" the U.S. national interest. He said "leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration's economic and climate imperatives."

TC Energy officials said they will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders, and Indigenous groups to meet their environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe termination of and exit from the Project.

In a press release, TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer, François Poirier said, "We value the strong relationships we’ve built through the development of this project and the experience we’ve gained. We remain grateful to the many organizations that supported the Project and would have shared in its benefits, including our partners, the Government of Alberta and Natural Law Energy, 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. 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."

The project has been in the works for more than a decade. It has been opposed by multiple environmental organizations including Northern Plains Resource Council and the Sierra Club.

Republicans in Montana and Wyoming were quick to blame Biden for the collapse of the project:

“President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline and with it, thousands of good-paying American jobs,” said U.S. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming. “On Inauguration Day, the president signed an executive order that ended pipeline construction and handed one thousand workers pink slips. Now, ten times that number of jobs will never be created. At a time when gasoline prices are spiking, the White House is celebrating the death of a pipeline that would have helped bring Americans relief.”

Added U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana:

“This is devastating news for our economy, jobs, environment and national security—and its entirely President Biden’s fault. It’s beyond clear that President Biden is beholden to extreme environmentalists, and Montanans and the American people are bearing the burden. While President Biden killed the American Keystone XL pipeline, he continues to support the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Biden would rather support Russian workers and jobs than Americans. Montanans and the American people are disappointed."

Montana's lone statewide elected Democrat, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, also expressed disappointment at losing the project.

“I am bitterly disappointed to learn that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline will no longer be moving forward. I supported this project for years because of the good-paying jobs and tax revenue it would have created for the folks who live and work in Montana. It’s frustrating that national politics killed a project that would have yielded big benefits for our state, but I am going to keep fighting to create jobs in rural Montana, ensure our energy independence, and get our state’s economy firing on all cylinders," Tester said in a statement.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.