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Keystone XL Pipeline project officially dead

Source: Flickr/Government of Alberta

Pipeline developer TC Energy has officially confirmed termination of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Project after a decade-long battle over climate change.

Developer officially cancels Keystone XL pipeline project blocked by Biden

Reuters — A $9 billion oil pipeline that became a symbol of the rising political clout of climate change advocates and a flash point in U.S.-Canada relations was officially canceled on Wednesday 9 June 2021. Keystone XL, which was proposed in 2008 to bring oil from Canada’s Western tar sands to U.S. refiners, was halted by owner TC Energy Corp after U.S. President Joe Biden this year revoked a key permit needed for a U.S. stretch of the 1,200-mile project.

This Nov. 3, 2015 file photo shows the Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline was to connect, in Steele City, Nebraska. Pipeline developer TC Energy
Keystone XL company officially calls it quits on pipeline. This Nov. 3, 2015 file photo shows the Keystone Steele City pumping station, into which the planned Keystone XL pipeline was to connect, in Steele City, Nebraska. Pipeline developer TC Energy Source: (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

the project had been at the center of the fight over climate change For nearly its entire history

Canadian pipeline company TC Energy said on Wednesday (9 June 2021) it was formally ending its bid to build the Keystone XL pipeline project, bringing the long-running battle over its construction to an end 13 years after it was first proposed.

For nearly its entire history, the project had been at the center of the fight over climate change, and environmentalists had used it as a rallying cry in their campaign to block major new oil developments.

President Joe Biden revoked the pipeline’s permits on his first day in office, reversing former President Donald Trump’s approval of the line that would have carried 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Trump’s move had undone former President Barack Obama’s 2015 rejection of the pipeline’s permit.

Source: Politico

If ever there was an environmental battle exemplifying a game of ping pong, it would be the stop-start story of the Keystone XL pipeline, also known as KXL. From the time it was proposed in 2008, through more than 10 years of dogged citizen protest and various conflicting legislative and executive orders by the federal government, the path for this controversial oil pipeline has never been smooth. Now it’s over for good.
The pipeline has been subject to political to-ing and fro-ing almost since inception. If ever there was an environmental battle exemplifying a game of ping pong, it would be the stop-start story of the Keystone XL pipeline, also known as KXL. From the time it was proposed in 2008, through more than 10 years of dogged citizen protest and various conflicting legislative and executive orders by the federal government, the path for this controversial oil pipeline has never been smooth. Now it’s over for good. Source: Pixabay/Unknown

Biden dealt the final blow to the project by canceling its permit again

"The Company 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 company wrote.

The news was met with jubilation from environmental and indigenous groups who had spent years battling the project over concerns it would worsen the climate crisis and harm the ecosystems and communities along its route.

The defeated pipeline would have extended 1,179 miles and transported 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, The New York Times explained. It would have ended in Nebraska, but connected to other pipelines that would help the oil complete its journey, as The AP reported.

However, environmental activists have long argued that now was the wrong time to lock in more fossil fuel infrastructure. For them, Wednesday’s victory was a long time coming. 

When President Joe Biden took office, he dealt the final blow to the project by canceling its permit again, on his first day. TC Energy had halted construction on the project following Biden’s decision, and finally decided to cancel the project altogether after reviewing its options.

Source: EcoWatch 

“The era of building fossil fuel pipelines without scrutiny of their potential impact on climate change and on local communities is over,” says Anthony Swift, director of NRDC’s Canada project. “Keystone XL was a terrible idea from the start. It’s time to accelerate our transition to the clean energy sources that will power a prosperous future.”
“Keystone XL was a terrible idea from the start.” “The era of building fossil fuel pipelines without scrutiny of their potential impact on climate change and on local communities is over,” says Anthony Swift, director of NRDC’s Canada project. “Keystone XL was a terrible idea from the start. It’s time to accelerate our transition to the clean energy sources that will power a prosperous future.” Source: NRDC.org

The next big battle to stop the Line 3 pipeline expansion is already on

Keystone XL may be dead, but the Indigenous-led fight to halt the Line 3 pipeline project is already on, according to Vox. The battle has been heating up since December 2020 when Enbridge, the Canadian multinational responsible for the project, began construction.

If completed, the roughly 340-mile pipeline expansion project will transport 1 million barrels of tar sands oil per day from Alberta across much of northern Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin.

Enbridge says the project will create thousands of jobs and pump billions of dollars into Minnesota’s economy. The company also told Vox via email that it has done everything required under the law to receive approval for the pipeline and ensure it operates safely.

But Indigenous activists are calling on Biden to cancel Line 3 like he did Keystone XL because they say it poses a significant risk of oil spills that could destroy precious water resources, wetlands, and ancestral lands. According to one report, opening Line 3 will have the equivalent climate impact of bringing 50 new coal plants online.

Now that TC Energy has finally ditched Keystone XL, the pressure is on for President Biden to axe Line 3.

Source: Vox

They say it poses a significant risk of oil spills that could destroy precious water resources, wetlands, and ancestral lands.
Indigenous activists are calling on Biden to cancel Line 3 like he did Keystone XL. They say it poses a significant risk of oil spills that could destroy precious water resources, wetlands, and ancestral lands. Source: Flickr/Government of Alberta
A little more than a year later, on his first day in office, Biden revoked the federal permit for Keystone XL, leading to the end of a project that had been contested for more than a decade.
By late 2019, the Nebraska State Supreme Court seemed to clear one of the last hurdles for Keystone XL by approving its route through the state. A little more than a year later, on his first day in office, Biden revoked the federal permit for Keystone XL, leading to the end of a project that had been contested for more than a decade. Source: Flickr/Government of Alberta
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