On Wednesday, the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which was first proposed in 2008, stalled by former President Barack Obama, resurrected by former President Trump, and then finally killed by President Biden, was terminated by TC Energy, the Canadian developer of the project, in the process costing Americans thousands of jobs.
The pipeline would have transported over 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta, Canada, through Nebraska to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Trump had approved a right-of-way permitting the $8 billion Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across 46 miles of land controlled by the federal government, taking a giant step toward completing the full construction of the pipeline.
As The Associated Press noted, the 1,200 mile pipeline had already garnered the requisite permits from states and localities to be built, but until the right-of-way the section in Montana controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been off-limits.
The Keystone pipeline was built in June 2010, traveling over 2,100 miles from Hardisty, Alberta, in Canada through Steele City, Nebraska, to Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois, and Patoka Oil Terminal near Patoka, Illinois. In 2011, the Keystone-Cushing extension (Phase II) was completed, running almost 300 miles from Steele City to Cushing, Oklahoma. In January 2014, Phase III was completed, running roughly 500 miles from Cushing to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. In 2016, a lateral pipeline was added traveling to Houston, Texas.
The Keystone XL pipeline connected Hardisty to Steel City using the shorter route running through Montana and used a larger diameter pipe, running through Baker, Montana.
TC Energy released a statement that pointed to Biden’s executive order on the day he was inaugurated as the cause of the death of the pipeline. The company wrote:
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. Construction activities to advance the Project were suspended following the revocation of its Presidential Permit on January 20, 2021.
TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer, François Poirier, added:
We remain grateful to the many organizations that supported the Project and would have shared in its benefits, including our partners, the Government of Alberta and Natural Law Energy, our customers, pipeline building trade unions, local communities, Indigenous groups, elected officials, landowners, the Government of Canada, contractors and suppliers, industry associations and our employees.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, whose province had invested over a whopping $1 billion in the project, ripped Biden, declaring, “We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing.”
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Senate energy committee, snapped, “President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline and with it, thousands of good-paying American jobs.”
Laurie Cox, who owns the Stroppel Hotel in Midland, South Dakota, a hotel she and her husband bought last September, had been feeding the welders, carpenters, and union laborers staying at her hotel and working on the pipeline. She told The Washington Examiner that the day of President Biden’s inauguration, “I had a real gut-sinking feeling and was watching little snips of the news and Facebook to see what was going to happen after the inauguration.” She added that when Biden later announced he was killing the pipeline, “It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in shock for three days.”
Cox said of the workers she had cared for, “They said their bosses sat them down and said, ‘The area is locked up, and we’ve all got to go home.’ I tried to choke back my tears because they were still packing up, and their families still had to be told, and the last thing they needed was an innkeeper sitting here crying on them.”
Of her own financial predicament, she stated, “How could somebody, with a swipe of a pen, destroy not only thousands of jobs but thousands of businesses?”
New Mexico GOP Rep. Yvette Herrell issued a caustic response to the cancellation of the pipeline:
Keystone XL was infrastructure.
— Rep. Yvette Herrell (@RepHerrell) June 10, 2021