North Dakota industry leaders react to sponsor of Keystone pipeline terminating project

Keystone XL pipeline
Keystone XL pipeline(KFYR-TV)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:06 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Keystone XL pipeline was effectively shut down when President Joe Biden revoked the permit on his first day in office, but now the sponsor of the project, TC Energy, seems to have nailed the coffin shut by stepping away. Industry leaders worry the announcement may cost North Dakota.

“It certainly just adds a cloud to all new pipeline projects, and certainly any international crossings between the US and Canada,” said Justin Kringstad, director of North Dakota Pipeline Authority.

The Keystone XL pipeline was set to transport roughly 800,000 barrels of heavy crude oil a day through Canada to Nebraska but was not scheduled to pass through North Dakota. While industry leaders say they aren’t losing existing transportation capacity or planned capacity but say development in the future could be limited.

“Your companies are going to lose that incentive or desire to invest or plan these projects just because they become so difficult to complete,” said Kristen Hamman, director of regulatory and public affairs for the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

The other concern for industry leaders is what this means for the Dakota Access Pipeline. DAPL is still operating while the Army Corps of Engineers conduct an environmental review. Industry leaders say DAPL puts North Dakota in a good position, but in the long-term they may have to look to other options and rely more heavily on rail.

“Being up here in North Dakota, we aren’t close to refineries to where we turn our crude oil into product we sell to consumers, so we need to transport it,” added Hamman.

TC Energy Corporation states on its website that the company will work to ensure a “safe termination of and exit from the project,” and that they will identify opportunities for “potential to power existing U.S. assets with renewable energy.”

According to the Associated Press, some in environmental groups who fought the project since inception called the cancellation a “landmark moment” in the effort to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

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