Keystone XL Pipeline Cancelled

·2 min read

Within hours of being inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, President Joseph R. Biden effectively cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline project (KXL) with an executive order. Section six of the "Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis" revoked the existing Presidential permit that had allowed for the construction, connection, operation, and maintenance of the pipeline on the border between Canada and the United States.

President Biden's decision to cancel the pipeline followed through on one of his campaign promises leading up to the November 3 Presidential election. The move to cancel this massive energy project is a stunning blow to Alberta's already beleaguered oil and gas sector. In the days since this decision, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has been calling for Canada's federal government to take concrete measures to protect the country's economic interests, including the possibility of economic retaliation against the United States.

With the announcement of the pipeline's cancellation, TC Energy (the company that is building the pipeline) says that about 1,000 construction workers in Alberta and the US have been, or will be, laid off.

Last year the Alberta government under Jason Kenney made a considerable investment in the KXL, to the tune of $1.5 billion in equity and up to $6 billion in loan guarantees. Critics of this deal have called it short-sighted in light of the already existing uncertainties at the time about the project's future.

The Alberta NDP, the official opposition party, has called for a Public Accounts Committee meeting to request that the UCP government release the full risk analysis and all of the financial documents related to the KXL deal. The UCP has previously refused to release these details.

It seems highly unlikely that the United States government will reverse the decision to cancel the KXL, and unfortunately Canada does not appear to have much in the lines of options to change their minds. The full impact of this decision still remains to be seen.

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette