BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Pipeline sponsor Keystone XL said on Wednesday it was shutting down the contentious project after Canadian authorities failed to persuade President Joe Biden to reverse the cancellation of his permit on the day upon taking office.
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 (1,930-kilometer) 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 moved up to 830,000 barrels (35 million gallons) of crude per day, connecting Nebraska to other pipelines that supply oil refineries on the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
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Biden canceled it in January over long-standing concerns that burning crude oil from the tar sands would worsen climate change.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau opposed the move, but officials in Alberta, where the line originates from, have expressed disappointment in recent weeks that he has not lobbied more to reinstate the permit of the pipeline.
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.
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Alberta officials said on Wednesday they reached an agreement with TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, to end their 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.
Environmentalists who had fought against the project since it was first announced in 2008 described its cancellation as a “historic moment” in the effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels that contribute to climate change.
“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.
Attorneys general in 21 states had filed a lawsuit to overturn Biden’s cancellation of the disputed pipeline, 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.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., A senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, blamed the cancellation on Biden.
“President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline and with it thousands of high paying US jobs,” Barrasso said in a statement. “On the day of the inauguration, the president signed a decree ending construction of the pipeline and handed over a thousand workers pink cards. Today, ten times more jobs will never be created. At a time when gasoline prices are skyrocketing, the White House is celebrating the death of an oil pipeline that would have helped bring relief to Americans. “
Senator Jon Tester of Montana – one of the few Democrats to back the pipeline – said he was “bitterly disappointed” with the cancellation.
“It’s frustrating that national politics killed a project that would have generated big profits for our state, but I will continue to fight to create jobs in rural Montana, ensure our energy independence and keep the economy running. economy of our state at full speed, “he said. said in a statement.
Ledyard King contributed reporting.