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

Police are investigating after a man was killed at a home on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police investigating early-morning murder in Duncan

One arrested after man killed at Cowichan Lake Road home

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

The Cowichan Women Against Violence Society is planning on opening a child and youth advocacy centre. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Child and youth advocacy centre eyed for Cowichan

Cowichan Women Against Violence Society hopes to open centre later this year

CVRD to apply for a grant to improve a 4.85-kilometre section of the Cowichan Valley Trail near Shawnigan Lake. (File photo)
CVRD looks to improve section of Cowichan Valley Trail

District applies for $250,000 grant to widen, upgrade 4.8-kilometre section in Shawnigan Lake

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Most Read