Environment

Keystone XL is Dead

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Biden administration had already revoked permits for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline extension shortly after taking office earlier this year, but the pipeline's owners had not abandoned their quest until now.

The Canadian parent company behind the project has notified the government that their plans to extend the pipeline have been permanently shelved.

Calgary-based TC Energy said in a statement it had formally terminated the project after consultation with the government of Alberta in Canada. It had already suspended construction on the pipeline earlier this year, after Biden revoked a presidential permit for the project. [...]

The TC Energy decision concludes a long struggle over the 1,200-mile (1,930-kilometer) pipeline designed to ferry more than 800,000 barrels a day of Canadian oil sands crude from Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

Jane Kleeb, the chairwoman of the Nebraska Democratic Party who has been one of Keystone XL’s most prominent opponents, said other projects should now be shut in the face of the climate crisis and concerns about water pollution. Activists have now turned their focus to Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 in Minnesota.

Some segments of the Keystone XL extension have already been built and there is no turning back the clock on that, but this marks the end of a 16-year-long battle waged by activists who literally put their lives and bodies on the line to slow development.

Pipeline protestors were brutally dispersed and arrested multiple times with endorsement from the White House during the Trump era and that was not limited to Keystone pipeline. Trump also backed brutal enforcement against Dakota Access pipeline protestors.

It may be too much to hope for, but it's possible the era of large pipeline construction may be nearly over. Environmental concerns aside, what business sense does it make to spend 10 years building a pipeline that could be devalued the moment it comes online because of sinking demand for oil in a world of electric vehicles?