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TC Energy halts Keystone XL pipeline project

Last Updated Jan 20, 2021 at 10:04 am MDT

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta

CALGARY – TC Energy says it has suspended work on the Keystone XL project in anticipation of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden revoking its permit once he is sworn in Wednesday.

In a release, the Calgary-based energy company said it is “disappointed” by the expected action to axe the pipeline project, 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 more renewable energy and draft partnerships with Indigenous communities.

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 said this will likely result in “substantive” mostly non-cash writedowns in its first-quarter financial results.

On Tuesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a phone conversation 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.