President Joe Biden entered office with a clear signal of his intention to shut down the Keystone XL oil pipeline — and now its Canadian owners want his administration to pay them back.
Reports indicate that TC Energy is suing the Biden administration for $15 billion in damages after it was forced to abandon the project due to the president’s order.
“Breach of its NAFTA obligations”
According to The Washington Times, the 1,200-mile pipeline was first blocked during the Obama administration and ordered to resume by former President Donald Trump. Upon taking office, Biden finally killed off the project.
Last month, TC Energy formally canceled the $9 billion project, which was designed to carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada’s Alberta province to the U.S. Gulf Coast every day.
For its part, the Alberta government reportedly lost $1.3 billion in investments as a result. TC Energy announced a net loss of more than $1 billion during the first quarter of this year.
Now, the Calgary-based company is following up on a notice of intent arguing that the U.S. government violated its obligations under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“TC Energy will be seeking to recover more than US$15 billion in damages that it has suffered as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations,” the company asserted.
“A blow to U.S. energy security”
As part of his climate change agenda, Biden revoked the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit in addition to freezing new leases on oil and gas drilling on federal land.
A federal judge pressed pause on that decision and the White House has also faced challenges by 21 GOP state attorneys general who maintain that his permit revocation usurped congressional authority to regulate commerce.
Biden’s critics further insist that his decision cost thousands of jobs while making the nation’s energy supply less secure, as NPR notes.
The American Petroleum Institute’s Robin Rorick sounded off on the decision earlier this year, declaring: “This is a blow to U.S. energy security and a blow to the thousands of good-paying union jobs this project would have supported.”
In May, a cyberattack brought one major U.S. pipeline to a halt, underscoring the issue of energy security and sending gas prices soaring.