The Canadian pipeline company, which has long sought to build the Keystone XL pipeline, said on Wednesday it had ended the troubled project, which would have transported oil from the Canadian tar sands to Nebraska.
The announcement signaled the death knell for a project that had been on life support since President Biden’s first day in office and that had been blocked by legal battles for years before, despite the support of the Trump administration.
On his inauguration day, Mr Biden, who has pledged to make the fight against climate change a centerpiece of his administration, canceled the construction permit for the pipeline, which the developers had been seeking to build for more than a decade. On the same day, TC Energy, the company behind the project, said it was suspending work on the line.
On Wednesday, the company wrote in a statement that it “will continue to coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and indigenous groups to meet its environmental and regulatory commitments and ensure a safe end and exit of the project.”
Environmental activists applauded the move and took the opportunity to urge Biden to cancel Trump-era permits for another pipeline, the Enbridge Line 3, which would carry Canadian oil through Minnesota. Hundreds of demonstrators were arrested earlier this week to protest the project.
“The end of this zombie pipeline sets a precedent for President Biden and the polluters to stop Line 3, Dakota Access and all fossil fuel projects,” said Kendall Mackey, campaign manager at 350.org, a group of climate defense. “This victory warns polluters and their financiers: End your fossil fuel projects now – or a relentless mass movement will stop them for you. “
On Capitol Hill, Republicans criticized Mr. Biden. “President Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline and with it thousands of well-paying American jobs,” said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the leading Republican on the Senate energy committee. “On the day of the inauguration, the president signed a decree ending construction of the pipeline and handed over a thousand workers pink cards. Today, ten times more jobs will never be created. At a time when gasoline prices are skyrocketing, the White House is celebrating the death of an oil pipeline that would have helped bring relief to Americans. “
The 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have transported 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the Gulf Coast, had become a lightning rod in broader political battles over energy, the environment and climate change. After environmental activists spent years arguing to President Barack Obama that approval of the pipeline would deal a devastating blow to his climate change efforts, Obama announced in 2015 that his administration would reject his permit. to build.
Two days after his inauguration in 2017, President Donald J. Trump, who during the campaign had promised to reverse Mr. Obama’s environmental legacy, signed an executive order rescinding Mr. Obama’s decision and allowing the pipeline to go from the front. But in 2018, after parts of the pipeline were built, a federal judge blocked further construction on the project on the grounds that the Trump administration failed to conduct adequate environmental reviews before overturning the Obama decision. The project had largely stalled since then.