Keystone XL: A brief history of the most controversial pipeline in North America
One of the first executive orders signed by President Joe Biden revoked former President Donald Trump’s approval of the North American Keystone XL Pipeline on Jan. 20.
The pipeline that had been seeking approval for 13 years, and would have snaked 1,947 kilometres from Alberta to petroleum refineries in the United States.
The pipeline that would cross over the Canada-U.S. border requires direct approval by a sitting U.S. president through a Presidential Permit.
Biden’s executive order may be the final roadblock for a pipeline that has dominated the Canadian-U.S. relationship for over a decade.
The Canadian TC Energy Corporation first applied for the permit in 2008 but were unsuccessful due to President Barak Obama’s environmental policy objectives.
Keystone received a second life with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump agreeing to move forward on the project in 2017.
Alberta’s Premier Jason Kenney followed Trump’s approval with a C$1.5 billion investment to TC Energy in 2020 to ensure the project’s completion.
Trudeau noted his disappointment in Biden’s order, and Kenney has called upon the Canadian government to impose U.S. sanctions for compensation of the province’s and TC Energy’s investments.