The Canadian pipeline company that had long sought to build the Keystone XL pipeline has announced it officially terminated the project which would have carried oil sands crude from Alberta to the American Gulf Coast.
TC Energy already had suspended construction in January when US President Joe Biden formally revoked the permit needed to finish the controversial project.
The announcement on Wednesday ends a more than decade-long battle over the 1,179-mile pipeline which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of petroleum.
The company said it “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.”
The $9 billion project had been stalled by legal battles for years before Biden. It was commissioned in 2010, but was rejected by president Barack Obama in 2015. In 2017, however, the project was revived by his successor Donald Trump.
Trump’s decision prompted several environmental groups to sue the US government over concerns about the potential negative impacts of the oil pipeline, mainly the risk of oil spills along the pipeline’s route.
Reacting to TC Energy’s announcement, environmental activists cheered the move, also calling on Biden to rescind permits granted under Trump to another pipeline, the Enbridge Line 3, which would carry Canadian oil across Minnesota.
“The termination of this zombie pipeline sets precedent for President Biden and polluters to stop Line 3, Dakota Access, and all fossil fuel projects,” said Kendall Mackey, a campaign manager with 350.org, a climate advocacy group. “This victory puts polluters and their financiers on notice: Terminate your fossil fuel projects now — or a relentless mass movement will stop them for you.”
Meanwhile, Keystone XL supporters, including most of the oil industry, said the pipeline construction would have created much-needed construction jobs.
"It's unfortunate that political obstructionism led to the termination of the Keystone XL pipeline. This is a blow to US energy security and a blow to the thousands of good-paying union jobs this project would have supported," said Robin Rorick, American Petroleum Institute vice president of midstream and industry operations.
Also, Republicans slated Biden for killing the project, arguing that it would have created thousands of jobs.
“President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline and with it, thousands of good-paying American jobs,” said Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy committee.
“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.”