In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP

TC Energy halts spending on Keystone XL, says it’s ‘disappointed’ with Biden move

TC Energy said it will stop capitalizing costs, including interest during construction,

Work on the Keystone XL project is being suspended in anticipation of U.S. president-elect Joe Biden revoking its vital presidential permit once he is sworn in, Calgary-based TC Energy Corp. said Wednesday.

The company said it is “disappointed” with Biden’s action expected later today, adding it will overturn extensive regulatory reviews that found the pipeline would transport needed energy in an environmentally responsible way and bolster North American energy security.

It warned the move will lead to the layoffs of thousands of union workers and comes despite its commitments to use renewable energy to power the pipeline and forge equity partnerships with Indigenous communities.

Francois Poirier, who took over as TC Energy CEO at the beginning of the year, said in a statement the company remains committed to growing earnings and dividends through its investments in critical energy infrastructure even if Keystone XL doesn’t go ahead.

“Our base business continues to perform very well and, aside from Keystone XL, we are advancing $25 billion of secured capital projects along with a robust portfolio of other similarly high-quality opportunities under development,” he said.

TC Energy said it will stop capitalizing costs, including interest during construction, effective Wednesday, and will evaluate the carrying value of its investment in the pipeline, net of project recoveries.

It says this will likely result in “substantive” mostly non-cash writedowns in its first-quarter financial results.

Meanwhile, environmental groups applauded Biden’s expected move.

“Killing the Keystone XL pipeline once and for all is a clear indication that climate action is a priority for the White House. This should not come as a surprise to anyone,” said Dale Marshall, national climate program manager for Canada’s Environmental Defence.

“We should take heed when the biggest customer for Canada’s oil kills a pipeline that is already under construction. The Keystone XL pipeline never made sense for either the U.S. or Canada.”

In contrast, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said it’s “incredibly troubling” that TC Energy has suspended work on Keystone XL.

“Now is the time for our nations to strengthen our trading relationship, not erect further barriers to collaborative and sustainable development,” he said in a statement.

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada said in a news release it is disappointed that Biden is “putting politics before reason” in his anticipated decision to rescind the pipeline permit.

“Pulling the plug on a major project, hours after taking office, is a rocky starting point for re-setting Canada/U.S. relations,” said PCAC president Paul de Jong.

The association, whose member companies employ thousands of Alberta and B.C. construction workers, said the pipeline would have generated as many as 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada and the United States.

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a phone conversation to continue his efforts to press Biden to allow Keystone XL to proceed.

Kenney’s government has invested $1.5 billion directly in the project, along with loan guarantees, and he has said about $1 billion is at risk if the project is killed.

The 1,947-kilometre pipeline is designed to carry 830,000 barrels a day of crude oil from Hardisty, Alta., to Steele City, Neb. From there it would connect with the company’s existing facilities to reach the U.S. Gulf Coast — one of the world’s biggest oil refining hubs.

TC Energy announced a plan Sunday for the Keystone XL project to achieve net zero emissions by spurring an investment of over US$1.7 billion in communities along the Keystone XL footprint to create about 1.6 gigawatts of renewable electric capacity.

READ MORE: Documents show Biden plans to issue order to cancel Keystone XL on first day in office

The Calgary-based company has also struck a deal with four labour unions to build the pipeline and has an agreement in place with five Indigenous tribes to take a roughly $785 million ownership stake.

Some 200 kilometres of pipe have already been installed for the expansion, including across the Canada-U.S. border, and construction has begun on pump stations in Alberta and several U.S. states.

Biden was vice-president in 2015 when Barack Obama rejected Keystone XL for fear it would worsen climate change.

Trump approved it again in March 2019.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Joe BidenKeystone XL

Just Posted

Stettler County
County of Stettler approves projects during May 12th council meeting

County council has authorized some funds for projects this summer

Stettler County
County of Stettler holds public hearings for proposed bylaws

A bylaw to amend the Land Use Bylaw for recreational vehicle uses generated many responses from the public

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw is asking Albertans to do their part by observing gathering limits, staying home if unwell, wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three new Central zone COVID-19 deaths, Alberta adds 1,433 cases

Red Deer down to 802 active cases of COVID-19

Stettler town hall. (Lisa Joy/Stettler Independent)
Stettler’s Main Street project continues to move forward

Phase two will be the replacement of the sidewalks on both sides of the block

Marc Kielburger, screen left, and Craig Kielburger, screen right, appear as witnesses via video conference during a House of Commons finance committee in the Wellington Building in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. The committee is looking into Government Spending, WE Charity and the Canada Student Service Grant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, watchdog says

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

The historic Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne in southern Alberta is up for sale

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
Alberta RCMP investigating possible threat to police after Mirror rally

Online images show RCMP members, vehicles in crosshairs of a rifle

An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Singh calls for halt on Canadian arms sales to Israel as violence escalates in region

Government data shows Canada sent $13.7 million in military goods and technology to Israel in 2019

New homes are built in a housing construction development in the west-end of Ottawa on Thursday, May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Budget’s foreign-homebuyers tax could bring in $509 million over 4 years, PBO says

Liberals are proposing a one per cent tax on vacant homes owned by foreign non-residents

A Canadian flag patch is shown on a soldier’s shoulder in Trenton, Ont., on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. The Canadian Forces says it has charged one of its members in the death of an army reservist from British Columbia during a training exercise at a military base in Alberta last year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Lars Hagberg
Canadian Forces member charged in death of army reservist during training exercise

Cpl. Lars Callsen has been charged with one count of negligence

A youth plays basketball in an otherwise quiet court in Toronto on Saturday April 17, 2021. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is urging the federal and provincial governments to fight COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on proven public health policy interventions including paid sick leave, and education rather than punitive enforcement measures. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Provinces issued more COVID-19 tickets during 2nd wave: CCLA report

‘A pandemic is a public health, not a public order, crisis,’ reads the report

Most Read