Keystone XL is cancelled — so now what? | CBC Information

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The announcement that TC Power is cancelling the problem-plagued Keystone XL pipeline mission wasn’t an enormous shock.

It appeared unlikely the Calgary-based firm may dig its means out of U.S. President Joe Biden’s determination final January to yank its cross-border allow. 

After evaluating its choices, it seems TC Power reached that very same conclusion on Wednesday.

However this week’s determination to drag the plug would not put to relaxation a few key questions which have been hanging over the mission — not only for Keystone XL, however for the Alberta authorities, environmental teams and different pipeline tasks.

Can Alberta nonetheless get some a reimbursement? 

Final 12 months, Alberta invested $1.5 billion, plus mortgage ensures, in Keystone XL to assist kick-start a mission beset by authorized disputes and protests within the U.S.

The cash was aimed toward getting development began on the Canadian leg of the mission, which it did for a time.

U.S. President Joe Biden indicators his first government orders within the Oval Workplace of the White Home on Jan. 20, together with one which cancelled the allow for Keystone XL. (Evan Vucci/The Related Press)

On Wednesday, the province mentioned the fabric value to the federal government was $1.3 billion, however that it wasn’t giving up on retrieving what it may.

“As said, we stay dedicated to recouping the federal government’s funding within the mission on behalf of Albertans,” a authorities spokesperson mentioned in an e mail.

Which will imply starting the liquidation strategy of pipe and different belongings to assist offset a number of the prices. However as CBC Information reported final week, the pipe that’s already underground will keep there for now.

There may nonetheless be a marketplace for what’s left over, however how far that may go towards recouping Alberta’s funding is one other unknown at this level.

Dennis McConaghy, a former TC Power government who has authored books on power points, thinks there might be a marketplace for the spare components.

“The pipe might be helpful,” he mentioned. “The query about with the ability to salvage any of the expenditures they might have made on pumps will depend upon whether or not these particular sorts of pumps can discover markets someplace on the planet. Ultimately, that can in all probability occur.”

What’s not recoverable are the bills paid out on camps, engineering and the workforce, he mentioned.

McConaghy speculated that the formal termination of the mission might assist the corporate with both a few of its salvage actions or litigation — if that is one thing it pursues.

WATCH | Knowledgeable explains why politics performed a task within the demise of Keystone XL

College of Calgary’s Richard Masson says politics performed a task on the demise of the Keystone XL mission pipeline. The Alberta authorities and TC Power introduced at the moment the termination of the pipeline mission. 3:38

What about authorized motion?

In referencing its dedication to recoup its funding, Alberta’s United Conservative authorities additionally famous “we proceed to look at all our authorized choices concerning the termination of the Keystone XL mission.” 

Utilizing historical past as a information, it would possibly strive to do that in a few methods.

TC Power filed a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court docket in Texas towards the Obama administration after it halted the mission in 2015, asserting that then-President Barack Obama’s determination to disclaim development of Keystone XL exceeded his energy underneath the U.S. Structure. 

That lawsuit was finally suspended after Donald Trump inked the required development allow to get the mission shifting once more shortly after profitable the White Home.

James Coleman, an affiliate professor of power legislation at Southern Methodist College in Dallas, mentioned he’ll be watching to see if Canada and TC Power are weighing a problem underneath the North American Free Commerce Settlement (NAFTA).

Although that commerce settlement was succeeded final 12 months by the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Settlement, Coleman mentioned there is a three-year window the place a declare might be made for an funding made underneath NAFTA.

“They might deliver a declare underneath NAFTA and say they have been handled in a discriminatory vogue,” Coleman mentioned. “With that mentioned, no person’s ever received a NAFTA go well with towards the US. So I believe most individuals would say your odds of success are lower than 50-50.”

What does this imply for Jason Kenney’s UCP authorities?

On the identical day the information broke concerning the cancellation of the Keystone mission, Kenney additionally shared {that a} $1.3 billion hydrogen mission is within the works for Edmonton.

However solely a type of tales made information within the Wall Avenue Journal, the New York Instances and CNN.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney marked the beginning of development of the Keystone XL pipeline within the province, within the city of Oyen, final summer time. (Flickr/Alberta Authorities)

When Kenney made his massive guess on Keystone XL final 12 months, it was in line with his marketing campaign promise of jobs, pipelines and a greater economic system. It additionally got here at a time when the oilpatch was hit exhausting by a deep plunge in crude costs.

The Alberta authorities stood by that call on Thursday, because the NDP once more referred to as on them to launch the complete particulars of the funding settlement.

“There’s full transparency,” Power Minister Sonya Savage instructed the legislature. “We supported this pipeline as a result of we imagine it will have introduced greater costs for Alberta oil, improve oilsands manufacturing and introduced us $30 billion a 12 months in royalties.”

Regardless, it is one other blow on a authorities precedence.

“It is simply one other cumulative factor,” mentioned Duane Bratt, a political scientist at Mount Royal College in Calgary.

“In case you simply pull off the power file — the entire ‘struggle again’ technique, the Allen inquiry, the conflict room, the funding in Keystone, the carbon tax struggle — there isn’t any wins there.”

Setting politics apart, the main focus for Alberta’s oilpatch might be seeing completion of the Trans Mountain enlargement pipeline to Burnaby, B.C., and Enbridge’s Line 3 substitute pipeline connecting to Superior, Wis.

“That simply actually houses within the magnifying glass,” mentioned Thomas Kirk-Pearson, a senior analysis affiliate with power knowledge analytics agency Enverus.

“With out these tasks, you are going to have a reasonably exhausting restrict on how excessive manufacturing can go in Western Canada.”

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline exhibit on the Dodge Avenue pedestrian bridge throughout rush hour in Omaha, Neb., in 2017. (Nati Harnik/Related Press)

Each tasks face some sturdy opposition over concern round their environmental and local weather change influence — and this week’s information is anticipated to rally help to additional protests.

“That is big for individuals who’ve been resisting new fossil gasoline infrastructure and calling for options, as a result of this was the primary actually massive pipeline battle,” mentioned Keith Stewart, a senior power strategist with Greenpeace Canada.

Past that, he mentioned, Keystone additionally knowledgeable how present and future environmental campaigns might be finished.

“The Keystone struggle represented a shift in technique from the environmental motion and an growing recognition that we’ve got to work in partnership with, and sometimes behind the management of, Indigenous communities.”

Little doubt, trade, authorities and environmental leaders have discovered a lot from Keystone XL’s lengthy odyssey. And the teachings possible will not have ended after this week.


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