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Keystone pipeline’s owner suing Biden administration for $15B

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A TC Energy pump station sits behind mounds of dirt from the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline as it lies idle near Oyen, Alberta, Canada February 1, 2021. (Reuters photo)

The company behind the now-abandoned Keystone XL pipeline project is suing the Biden administration for $15 billion, citing damages from the revocation of its permit for the project.

TC Energy Corporation has said the US government breached its free trade obligations when it pulled the project's permit.

On June 9, the company announced it officially terminated the project which would have carried oil sands crude from Alberta to the American Gulf Coast.

Construction had already been suspended in January when President Joe Biden formally revoked the permit needed to finish the 1,179-mile pipeline which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of petroleum.

In a new announcement, TC Energy said it had “filed a Notice of Intent to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the Keystone XL Project’s Presidential Permit.” 

The Notice of Intent was “filed with the US Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser.”

The company said it was seeking compensation for losses "suffered as a result of the US Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations."

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.

Keystone XL supporters, however, have argued the pipeline construction would have created much-needed construction jobs.

Republicans also slated Biden for killing the project, offering the same argument.

“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.

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