Keystone XL officially canceled after 13 years of tension

By: Ajay Pal Singh
Ajay Pal Singh
Ajay worked at Tata Motors in project planning before discovering his passion for stocks. Today, he lives in Canada… read more.
on Jun 10, 2021
  • Keystone XL pipeline project has been terminated by its owner TC Energy Corporation.
  • President Joe Biden revoked a key permit in January that was needed to complete the pipeline's U.S. stretch.
  • The pipeline was initially proposed in 2008 to carry oil from the Western Canadian oil sands to U.S. refiners.

TC Energy Corporation (NYSE: TRP) has finally decided to halt the Keystone XL pipeline project after U.S. Joe Biden revoked the permit needed to complete the U.S. stretch of the pipeline earlier this year.

In a press release on Wednesday, 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.”

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Shares of TC Energy, an operator of natural gas and crude oil pipelines across Canada, U.S. and Mexico, are up 30% year-to-date, helped by the rising oil prices and the relaxation of the pandemic induced lockdowns. The stock was trading flat in the morning trading.

Timeline and purpose of Keystone XL pipeline project

The pipeline was initially proposed in 2008 to carry oil from the Western Canadian oil sands to U.S. refiners. It was expected to carry 830,000 barrels per day from Alberta to Nebraska.

But over the last 13 years, the pipeline has faced strong opposition from U.S. landowners, Native American tribes and environmentalists that resulted in legal challenges as well as political opposition.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump had approved a permit for the pipeline in 2017 but legal challenges made it difficult to continue construction. Biden revoked the permit as soon as he took office on January 20, 2021, something he had committed to do in his Presidential campaign.

Stakeholders take on the cancellation

On the cancellation of the pipeline project, Jared Margolis, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said:

“This is a landmark moment in the fight against the climate crisis. We’re hopeful that the Biden administration will continue to shift this country in the right direction by opposing fossil fuel projects.”

The government of Alberta, which was a partner in the project, is set to lose $1.3 billion as a result of the termination. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement.

“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing.” 

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