TC Energy Corp. will eliminate more than 1,000 construction jobs in coming weeks and halt work on the Keystone XL (KXL) oil pipeline after U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the project’s presidential permit, the company said in an email to employees.
Calgary, Alberta-based TC Energy confirmed the authenticity of the email, sent by KXL President Richard Prior on Jan. 20 and seen by Reuters.
Biden’s decision to cancel the permit is likely to be the project's death knell, after more than a decade of legal battles and shifting fortunes based on who held office in the White House. Opponents of the line fought its construction for years, saying it was unnecessary and would hamper the U.S. transition to cleaner fuels.
Proponents of the line argued that it created several thousand good-paying jobs and that pipelines remain the safest ways to transport fuel, but many analysts thought the chances of its completion were slim.
“KXL never quite escaped the shadow of uncertainty in the eyes of many producers,” said Thomas Liles, vice president for North American shale at Rystad Energy, in an email.
The United States imports more crude from Canada than any other nation, receiving roughly 3.8 million bbl/d in 2019, according to U.S. Energy Department figures.
The line, which would have carried 830,000 bbl/d oil through the U.S. to Nebraska, was already well under construction in Canada.
Prior, in his email, said they will start to shut down construction at U.S. pump station sites and the Canadian portion of the project in coming weeks.
“I believe this will send a concerning signal to infrastructure developers that resonates far beyond our project and will stifle innovation for a practical transition towards sustainable energy,” he said in the letter.
During the U.S. campaign, Biden had committed to canceling the project, which has been in development since 2008. Former President Donald Trump approved a permit for the line in 2017 shortly after taking office, but the line afterward faced numerous legal challenges that hampered construction.
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