BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The sponsor of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline pulled the plug on the contentious project on Wednesday after Canadian officials failed to persuade President Biden to reverse his cancellation of its permit on the day he took office.
Calgary-based TC Energy said it would work with government agencies “to ensure a safe termination of and exit from” the partially built line, which was to transport crude from the oil sand fields of western Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.
Construction on the 1,200-mile pipeline began last year when former President Donald Trump revived the long-delayed project after it had stalled under the Obama administration. It would have moved up to 830,000 barrels of crude daily, connecting in Nebraska to other pipelines that feed oil refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Biden canceled the project in January over long-standing concerns that burning oil sands crude would make climate change worse.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had objected to the new U.S. president’s move, although officials in Alberta, where the line originated, expressed disappointment in recent weeks that Trudeau didn’t push Biden harder to reinstate the pipeline’s permit.
Alberta invested more than $1 billion in the project last year, kick-starting construction that had stalled amid determined opposition to the line from environmentalists and Native American tribes along its route.
Alberta officials said Wednesday they reached an agreement with TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada, to exit their partnership. The company and province plan to try to recoup the government’s investment, although neither offered any details by press time on how that would happen.