Developer Abandons Keystone XL Pipeline Project, Ending Decade-Long Battle

By Jeff Brady and Neela Banerjee, NPR

Keystone XL would have passed through Nebraska, and for years, a coalition of Indigenous tribes, ranchers and local environmentalists demonstrated, lobbied and sued to halt the pipeline’s construction. Its proposed route in Nebraska cut through the Ogallala Aquifer, the groundwater source for millions of Plains States residents. The pipeline’s opponents in Nebraska feared that any leak from Keystone XL would damage the critical aquifer, and they welcomed the end of the project.

“On behalf of our Ponca Nation we welcome this long overdue news and thank all who worked so tirelessly to educate and fight to prevent this from coming to fruition. It’s a great day for Mother Earth,” Larry Wright Jr., chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, said in a statement. Read more or listen to the “All Things Considered” broadcast here.

Image Credit: Prairie Nebraska.Org

A timeline of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project, by The Canadian Press, Toronto Star

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Canadian Officials React To Biden Revoking Keystone XL Permit, All Things Considered, NPR
Canadian officials say they’re disappointed that President Biden revoked the Keystone XL Pipeline permit — but they’re also looking forward to working with the new administration on climate change.

Nebraska’s better off without Keystone XL, Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board
Increased investment in renewable energy — wind energy, solar power, electric vehicles, etc. — proves that America’s future will involve fewer fossil fuels going forward, a fact underscored by the growing number of financial institutions and other entities that now refuse to invest in the oil and gas industry. The grassroots coalition of environmentalists, farmers, ranchers and property-rights advocates who fought the pipeline tooth and nail can celebrate, knowing their efforts weren’t in vain. 

Canada predicts largest oil province Alberta to lead growth in renewables, Reuters
Canada’s biggest oil-producing province Alberta is expected to see the fastest growth in renewable energy capacity between 2018 and 2023, the Canada Energy Regulator forecast in a report, as new wind and solar projects help replace coal-fired electricity. By 2023, 26% of Alberta’s electricity capacity will come from renewable sources, up from 16% in 2017. 

Climate Change Risks & Global Markets – Natural Resources Defense Council

What Is the Keystone XL Pipeline?: How a single pipeline project became the epicenter of an enormous environmental, public health, and civil rights battle.

When TC Energy said the pipeline would create nearly 119,000 jobs, a State Department report instead concluded the project would require fewer than 2,000 two-year construction jobs and that the number of jobs would hover around 35 after construction.

The market case, even before the COVID-19 pandemic sent oil prices plummeting, has also deteriorated. Low oil prices and increasing public concern over the climate have led Shell, Exxon, Statoil, and Total to either sell their tar sands assets or write them down. Because of this growing market recognition, major new tar sands projects haven’t moved forward with construction for years, despite investments from the government of Alberta, Canada. For example, in 2020, Teck Resources withdrew its ten-year application to build the largest tar sands mine in history—citing growing concern surrounding climate change in global markets.