TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the project, said it decided to terminate the project after a comprehensive review of its options and consulting with the government of Alberta, Canada. The company said it would coordinate with regulators, stakeholders and Indigenous groups to ensure a safe exit from the project.
The cancellation ends more than a decade of controversy over the pipeline and marks a big win for environmentalists who argued the project threatened the environment and would only worsen the climate crisis.
The project aimed to carry oil from the tar sands of Canada into the United States, and it has been a political football for years.
On his first day in the White House, President Joe Biden revoked the permit his predecessor granted to Keystone XL, and also moved to re-enter the United States in the Paris climate agreement. TC Energy warned at the time that the decision by Biden would “directly lead to the layoff of thousands of union workers.”
The end of Keystone XL will add to the pressure on Biden from environmentalists to terminate other projects, including Line 3 and the Dakota Access pipeline.
“The cancellation of Keystone XL is a reminder that this project was never needed and never in the public interest, and that it is time for the fossil fuel era to rapidly come to a close,” David Turnbull, strategic communications director with Oil Change International, said in a statement.
The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s largest trade group, expressed disappointment over the news.
“It’s unfortunate that political obstructionism led to the termination of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Robin Rorick, vice president of midstream and industry operations at the API. “This is a blow to U.S. energy security and a blow to the thousands of good-paying union jobs this project would have supported.”
Marty Durbin, president of the Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute, said the decision to terminate the project was understandable given the administration’s decision, but that ultimately “the American people will lose the most by not having access to affordable and reliable energy that would have been safely and efficiently transported by the pipeline.”
Environmental groups, however, cheered the news.
“The termination of this zombie pipeline sets precedent for President Biden and polluters to stop Line 3, Dakota Access, and all fossil fuel projects,” Kendall Mackey, campaign manager of 350.org’s Keep It in the Ground campaign, said in a statement.
Activists gave much of the credit for the termination of the Keystone XL pipeline to members of Indigenous communities who worked for years to see this goal to fruition.
“After more than 10 years of organizing we have finally defeated an oil giant, Keystone XL is dead!” the nonprofit Indigenous Environmental Network said in a statement. “We stood hand-in-hand to protect the next seven generations of life, the water and our communities from this dirty tar sands pipeline.”