Say goodbye to the Keystone XL pipeline, this time for real


It’s official: the Keystone XL is finally gone. The developer of the pipeline announced Wednesday that it is ending the project.

For years, the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations have been going back and forth to push the massive transcontinental project forward. On his first day in office, Joe Biden canceled the presidential license granted by his predecessor. Apparently that was the nail in Keystone XL’s coffin. Shortly afterwards, TC Energy suspended work on the project in order to “consider the options”, but hadn’t completely given up on the pipeline until now.

“We acquired a multi-billion dollar company and we won!” Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer for the nonprofit Indigenous Environmental Network tweeted. “The people made this possible!”

Native American tribes and activists fought the project for more than a decade. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation sued the Trump administration after it granted the Keystone XL a permit to continue construction. The pipeline threatened their lands and water resources, and the Trump administration has not consulted properly with the tribes, they said in the lawsuit.

The $8 billion pipeline would have pumped 830,000 barrels of crude from Alberta, Canada’s tar sands, to Nebraska, where it would connect with other pipelines reaching the Gulf Coast.

Prior to TC Energy’s announcement today, much of the pipeline had already been built in Canada. The company has laid off hundreds of workers since the suspension of work on the project this year. But neither President Obama nor Biden were overly concerned about taking away American jobs by destroying the pipeline. According to a State Department, it would not have resulted in 35 full-time permanent jobs in the US until construction was completed analysis. Climate change, exacerbated by new oil and gas projects, was a greater threat to U.S. livelihoods, both administrations argued.

Despite the win over Keystone XL, the pipeline’s opponents are far from sitting back and relaxing. Protests escalated this week against the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline, which also runs from Alberta to the US Midwest. Enbridge wants to abandon the existing pipeline and replace it with a new one that can carry twice as much crude oil. At least 100 hundred people have been arrested during demonstrations this week, The New York Times reported.