BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Pipeline sponsor Keystone XL ended the contentious project on Wednesday after Canadian authorities failed to persuade President Joe Biden to reverse the cancellation of his permit on the day he entered function.
Calgary-based TC Energy said it would work with government agencies “to ensure safe termination and exit” of the partially constructed line, which was to transport crude from the oil sands fields in western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.
Construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline began last year when former President Donald Trump relaunched the long-delayed project after it was stalled under the Obama administration. It is said to have transported up to 35 million gallons of crude per day, connecting Nebraska to other pipelines that supply oil refineries on the US Gulf Coast.
Biden canceled the pipeline’s border crossing permit in January over long-standing concerns that burning crude oil from the tar sands could worsen climate change and make it more difficult to reverse.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposed the move, escalating tensions between the United States and Canada. Officials in Alberta, where the line originates from, have expressed frustration in recent weeks that Trudeau is not pushing Biden harder to reinstate the pipeline license.
Alberta invested over $ 1 billion in the project last year, which kicked off construction which had stalled amid determined opposition to the environmentalists line and Native American tribes along its route.
Alberta officials said Wednesday they have reached an agreement with TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, to end the partnership. The company and the province plan to try to recoup the government’s investment, although neither gave immediate details on how that would happen.
“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline border crossing,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.
The province had hoped the pipeline would spur increased oil sands development and bring in tens of billions of dollars in royalties over decades.
Climate change activists viewed the expansion of oil sands mining as an environmental disaster that could accelerate global warming as fuel is burned. This has made Keystone a hotspot in the climate debate, and it has become the center of rallies and protests in Washington, DC and other cities.
Environmentalists who had fought against the project since its announcement in 2008 said its cancellation marked a “historic moment” in the effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
“Good riddance for Keystone XL,” said Jared Margolis of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of several environmental groups who have taken legal action to arrest him.
On the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana, Tribal President Andy Werk Jr. described the end of Keystone as a relief to Native Americans who opposed it for fear that a line break would defile the Missouri River or other waterways.
Attorneys general in 21 states had filed a lawsuit to overturn Biden’s pipeline cancellation, which would have created thousands of construction jobs. Republicans in Congress made the annulment a frequent topic of discussion in their criticisms of the administration, and even some moderate Democrats in the Senate, including Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, had urged Biden to reconsider his decision. decision.
Tester said in a statement Wednesday that he was disappointed with the demise of the project, but made no mention of Biden.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, was more blunt: “President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline and with it thousands of well-paying American jobs.
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on TC Energy’s announcement. In his Jan. 20 cancellation order, Biden said allowing the line “would not be in line with the economic and climate imperatives of my administration.”
TC Energy said in canceling the pipeline that the company was focused on meeting “changing energy demands” as the world shifts to different energy sources. He said he has $ 7 billion in other projects under development.
The price of Keystone XL had inflated as the project languished, from $ 5.4 billion to $ 9 billion. Meanwhile, oil prices have fallen significantly from over $ 100 a barrel in 2008 to less than $ 70 in recent months, slowing the development of Canada’s tar sands and threatening to eat away at the profits from transporting the oil. fuel to refineries.
A second network of TC Energy pipelines, known simply as Keystone, has been delivering crude to Canada’s oil sands region since 2010. The company says on its website that Keystone has transported more than 3 billion barrels of crude. from Alberta and an oil loading site in Cushing. , Oklahoma.