TC Energy canceled construction on the Keystone XL pipeline January 20 after President Biden revoked the presidential permit for the $8-billion project as one of his first actions after taking office.
The Canadian company says it will review Biden’s decision, assess its implication and consider its options. Additionally, the decision will result in the layoff of thousands of union workers and end the company’s commitment, announced Jan. 17 along with the North America Building Trades, to build in renewable energy sources to "achieve net-zero emissions across the project operations"
The presidential permit is required for the pipeline to cross the U.S.-Canadian border.
The company and Canadian leaders had touted the project as enhancing North American energy security and supporting 40,000 jobs in the U.S.
The 1,178-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska would have carried an estimated 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta’s oil sands region. From Nebraska, the pipeline would have connected to an existing pipeline that extends to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The company signed a project labor agreement in August with four U.S. labor unions, including the International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborers International Union of North America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the United Association Union Plumbers and Pipefitters. The agreement was expected to create 10,000 construction jobs.
In a Jan. 21 strongly worded statement, building trades President Sean McGarvey said unions "are deeply disappointed in the decision to cancel the Keystone XL permit on the President’s first official day in office. Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project."
He added that the unions "welcome this Administration and the architects of the opposition for this and hundreds of other projects to engage with us on a rational national strategy going forward that does not treat workers, their families, and entire communities as an afterthought, but makes them equal to economic and climate imperatives."
The Associated Equipment Distributors said the group "will continue to work with Congress and labor allies to urge the Biden Administration to reassess his execxuive order" stating that completion of the pipeline "is the national interest of both the US and Canada."
The Canadian leg of the Keystone XL pipeline has been under construction for months after the Alberta government agreed to invest about $1.5 billion in the project.
Alberta Premier Jason Kennedy said rescinding the permit would damage relations between the two countries.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised the pipeline issue with Biden before the inauguration. In a statement issued Jan. 20, Trudeau said that Canada has made the case for the project, adding: "While we welcome the President's commitment to fight climate change, we are disappointed but acknowledge the President’s decision to fulfill his election campaign promise on Keystone XL."
The American Petroleum Institute said after Biden’s decision that it shares the President’s goal of leadership in addressing climate change, but that revoking the Keystone XL pipeline is a “significant step backwards both for the environmental progress and our economic recovery.”
The pipeline has been through 10 years of environmental review. “Today’s announcement is a slap in the face to the thousands of union workers who are already a part of this safe and sustainable project,” the group said.
President Obama rejected the project before President Trump revived it. In November 2015, Obama said, “Shipping dirtier crude oil into our country would not increase American’s energy security.” Trump resurrected the project in January 2017.