This day has been a long time in the making, but it’s finally arrived.
At long last, we can say that one of the most immoral, climate destroying projects in modern times has been scrapped. The Keystone XL pipeline has met its demise!
TC Energy said in a statement that it decided along with the government of Alberta to end the multibillion-dollar pipeline.
Activists who have spent more than a decade hoping to bury the project for good reacted with joy at the news Wednesday.
“When this fight began, people thought Big Oil couldn’t be beat,” said Bill McKibben, who led sit-ins against Keystone XL in 2011 at the White House. “But when enough people rise up we’re stronger even than the richest fossil fuel companies.”
In the end, not even Donald Trump’s four year occupation of the White House could save the environmentally destructive, long troubled pipeline project.
“TC Energy Corporation confirmed today that after a comprehensive review of its options, and in consultation with its partner, the Government of Alberta, it has terminated the Keystone XL Pipeline Project (the Project),” the company said in a statement posted to its website and distributed through P.R. channels.
“Construction activities to advance the Project were suspended following the revocation of its Presidential Permit on January 20th, 2021.”
“The Company 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.”
Keystone XL represented an effort by extremely powerful, polluting interests to keep the United States and Canada wedded to fossil fuels, while increasing the profits of billionaires like the Koch brothers, who are already very wealthy.
The pipeline’s boosters repeatedly sought to steamroll Native American tribes and farmers in their attempts to seize right of way for the transport of oil from the dirty tar sands of Alberta. Although President Obama denied TC Energy a permit to build the pipeline in 2015, the company did not give up. It found the ally it needed less than two years later in 2017, when Donald Trump gained power.
But Trump did not remain in the White House long enough to save the pipeline.
Upon arriving at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on January 20th, Joe Biden proceeded to promptly revoke the United States’ support for the pipeline project.
Many pipeline boosters held out hope that the new administration’s opposition could be overcome. But eventually, TC Energy concluded it couldn’t.
The pipeline’s demise is a blow to oil-addicted politicians like Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Kenney was so determined to see the pipeline built that he involved the taxpayers of Alberta in the project.
“Today’s loss is another example of how Jason Kenney has failed our energy sector,” NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley said in a news release.
“From his embarrassing war room to his overdue and over-budget inquiry, he’s failed to create jobs,” Ganley added, referring to Kenney’s use of taxpayer funds to promote his oil agenda and “investigate” foreign based environmental groups.
“Now, his mismanagement and complete incompetence on this file has cost the people of Alberta north of $1 billion,” Ganley added.
Several Canadian oil boosters said it was time to focus on other projects.
“Instead of bemoaning the cancellation of Keystone XL, however, Canada should see this as an opportunity to put more emphasis on direct access to offshore markets. Specifically, the TMX pipeline will allow Canada to take advantage of direct exports to key markets in the Indo-Pacific,” wrote Jeff Kucharski, a contributor to The Globe and Mail, Canada’s newspaper of record.
The TMX project is a grave threat to the environmental health of the Pacific Northwest, and is moving forward over the objections of the people of British Columbia and their NDP-led government thanks to a bad ruling by Canada’s Supreme Court. Last year, TransCanada’s CEO admitted that the TMX pipeline expansion has ballooned in cost, from around $7.4 billion to $12.6 billion.
Like the existing pipeline, TMX’s planned terminus is in Burnaby, a port in the Salish Sea, across the maritime border from Washington State waters.
The Canadian government, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has also approved a slew of other pipeline projects despite claiming to be committed to reducing emissions and climate damage. Trudeau’s critics say he has done very little to lead on climate. The Prime Minister’s pledges and green talk are fiercely belied by his repeated advocacy for oil pipelines, including Keystone XL.
In the case of TMX, Trudeau became the pipeline’s eleventh hour savior when he arranged for the Government of Canada to buy the pipeline from Houston-based Kinder Morgan. TMX is now owned and controlled by Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV), a Crown corporation.
As important as Keystone XL’s demise is, it’s essential to remember that there are other very destructive oil pipeline projects moving forward right now that need to be stopped. The Earth’s climate has already been catastrophically damaged; it’s up to us to prevent our common home from becoming further imperiled.