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

Sooke Road will be down to a single lane Thursday night while crews work on a water main connection. (Pixabay stock image)
Sooke Road down to single lane for water main connection

Night work scheduled for Thursday, early Friday morning

Soloman and Zev Nagler enjoy time on the beach at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park on a summer day. The Capital Regional District is in the process of determining whether to institute parking fees at this and eight other CRD parks. (Black Press Media file photo)
CRD parks committee rejects new Greater Victoria parking fees – again

More arguments against fee hikes, pay parking at nine parks, brought forward by committee members

Langford council approved the 2021 budget request of $5,268,635 from the West Shore Parks and Recreation Society Tuesday night. Of the proposed budget, Langford was asked to contribute an increased amount of $158, 651, as the municipality’s growth rate was higher than other municipal partners on the West Shore. (Black Press Media file)
Langford approves $2.8M for West Shore Parks and Recreation

Unanimous budget approval required by all West Shore partner municipalities

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Greater Victoria teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

One year in, teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressure from families

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

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)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

Most Read