The sponsor of the Keystone XL pipeline has pulled the plug on the controversial project to pipe dirty tar sands oil from Canada all the way across the United States to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.
The Keystone pipeline became a national symbol of communities’ and advocates’ fight to stop the development of more energy projects which contribute to climate change. As with other high-profile environmental issues, the Obama Administration shifted from caution to opposition as public opinion solidified. The Trump Administration abruptly shifted course, issuing permits and pushing the project’s completion. With the Trump defeat, the new Biden-Harris Administration came into office with firm opposition to Keystone. After Canada’s diplomatic efforts failed to shift that opposition, the pipeline’s sponsor announced it was dropping the project altogether.
“This is a fantastic day for clean water, safe communities and our climate. The era of building fossil fuel pipelines without scrutiny of their potential impact on climate change and on local communities is over. Keystone XL was a terrible idea from the start. It‘s time to accelerate our transition to the clean energy sources that will power a prosperous future,” said Anthony Swift, director of the Canada Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a reaction representative of many impacted communities’ and other pipeline opponents’ thoughts.