TC Energy ended its 16-year quest to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a controversial cross border project that become a litmus test for climate activism and was blocked by President Joe Biden.
The TC Energy of Calgary said in a statement that it had also terminated the project after consultation with the government of Alberta in Canada. It had already suspended the construction on the pipeline earlier this year after Biden revoked a presidential permit for the project.
Keystone XL helped galvanize modern climate activism by uniting environmentalists in a battle against the project some called a '' chemical bomb and it shifted the course of American environmentalism from its roots in the 1960s and 1970s, battling nuclear power, toxic waste and toxic insects.
The protest over the Keystone pipeline was a collective development in the climate movement and the project cancellation '' is a testament to the effectiveness of substantial citizen action, said Robert Brulle, a visiting professor at Brown University who is an expert on environmental activism.
He added, said the opposition to Keystone actions against climate change and outlined the end of the unprotested expansion of oil and gas infrastructure in the U.S.
The decision concludes a long struggle over the 1,200-mile pipeline intended to transport more than 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil sands crude from Wisconsin to Steele City, Nebraska.
The project had been slowed by the political winds in the U.S. that President Donald Trump was rejected in 2015 before Barack Obama revived it two years later. On his first day in office President-elect Biden issued an executive order revoking the critical presidential permit for Keystone XL.
Environmentalists said the line would provide an outlet for the energy-intensive crude extracted in Alberta through very harsh processes and burning it would exacerbate climate change. They staged a decade-long campaign against the project, which involves battles fought in federal courtrooms and statehouse protests from the Midwest to the White House.
When this fight began, people thought 'Big Oil' couldn't be beat, said Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org who led the first sit-ins against Keystone XL at the White House in 2011. When enough people rise up, we're even stronger than the richest fossil fuel companies.
The battle against Keystone XL also predicted other battles over the construction of oil and gas pipelines from New York to South Dakota.
The era of building large pipelines without studying their potential impact on climate change and local communities is over, said Anthony Swift, lead director of the Canada Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Whole segments of Keystone XL, including one that crosses the Canadian Border already have been built, have already been built. Two new pipelines, even without Keystone XL, are under construction that provide petroleum producers with more than enough capacity for crude exports once completed.
Jane Kleeb, who has been one of Keystone XL's most prominent opponents, said other projects should now be closed in the face of the climate crisis and worries about water pollution. Activists have now turned their attention to the Minneapolis Line 3 lines of Enbridge Inc.
We can not reach President Biden's bold climate goals if we keep approving pipelines, Kleeb said. In this moment we ask President Biden to pause all other pipelines, like Line 3 in rural Minnesota, to show communities respect and to finally conduct the proper water, cultural resources and climate studies that pipelines never got under the reckless Trump administration.
Republicans immediately pounced on the move, blamed Biden for the cancellation and contrasting the president's opposition to Keystone XL with his administration's approach to Nord Stream 2, a pipeline to transport natural gas from Germany to Russia. In a month, the Biden administration was to remove sanctions on the company that built Nord Stream 2.
Biden, a Montana Republican, called it's "devastating news for our economy, jobs, environment and national security." It is entirely President Steve Daines fault.
Business interests also lamented Keystone’s cancellation, saying it would discourage developers from pursuing other U.S. infrastructure projects subject to intensive permit reviews. Marty Durbin, president of the Global Energy Institute of the United States Chamber of Commerce, said TC Energy's decision was the result of a policy error by administration.
There is an 'opportunity cost for thousands of American workers, some of whom already lost their jobs on this project and the communities along the pipeline that would have received millions in tax revenue to support their schools and infrastructure, Durbin said. This episode is also a black mark in our relationship with our close ally to the north, Canada, and will have consequences for our ability to attract private investment for years to come.