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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Khowhemun Elementary is one of two Cowichan Valley schools that announced possible COVID-19 exposures last week. (Google Street View image)
Two Cowichan Valley schools announce possible COVID-19 exposures

Positive tests at Khowhemun, Quamichan; Superstore confirms more cases

Members of the 4-H Horse Club enjoy the annual horse camp at the Cowichan Exhibition grounds. (submitted)
Farm Credit Canada supports Cowichan 4-H club with cash

On the list of recipients is the Cowichan 4-H Horse Club out of Cobble Hill.

Flanked by CVOLC staff members Kevin van der Linden, Nate Boersen, Lisa Kellar and Neil Ellingson, Ryan Linehan receives his Student of the Month award from Rotary representatives Gregg Perry and Kim Barnard. 
(Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Collective ‘ambassador’ named Student of the Month

Ryan Linehan earns award for demonstrating natural leadership

Duncan Christian’s Grace George lines up a shot during the three-point portion of the BC School Sports Pandemic Basketball Challenge after taking a pass from Cam Stevens. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan Christian leads the way in pandemic basketball challenge

School tops participation numbers for second time this year

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

Most Read