As It Turns Out, The Company Behind The Keystone Pipeline Thinks It's Not Needed Anymore
“There’s simply no reason to build this dangerous pipeline and put us all at risk.”
After a decade of fighting against the placement of a pipeline between sacred indigenous lands and sensitive cropping areas, activists and the indigenous community in America can take a light breather. TransCanada, the company behind the XL Keystone pipeline, has halted its plans due to declining demand for the project.
ThinkProgress reports that Monday (Jul. 31), TransCanada CEO Russ Girling released a statement about the controversial project, explaining how they've struggled to hone in on buyers to fund the project. Proposed in 2008, the XL Keystone pipeline was meant to run through the states through Alberta, Canada, and to the south of the Gulf Cost, in an effort to sell across international waters. As the outlet points out, oil prices at the time of the recession were $70 a barrel, and later, between 2010 and 2014, at over $90 a barrel. Now that oil prices have hit a positive low (less than $50 a barrel), the placement of the pipeline is null and void in America and needed in Asia, where demand is still high.
TransCanada also took a blow when former President Barack Obama cut constriction to the project during his last term in office, with many of its buyers backing out. The Trump administration allowed the project to continue in January.
The company adds that approval would be needed from a Nebraska regulatory commission, which wouldn't happen until November. If approved, the project wouldn't take off until 2020. You can imagine how much oil barrels would be at that point, right?
“We’ll make an assessment of the commercial support and the regulator approvals at that time,” Paul Miller, president of TransCanada’s liquid pipelines business, added. “In the event that we do decide to proceed with the project, we still need probably six to nine months to do some of the staging of the construction crews, etcetera, and that would be followed by about a two-year construction period.”
But the fight isn't over yet. David Turnbull, campaigns director for Oil Change International, advised the company not to think with its wallet or budget, but rather from an environmental mindset.
“Keystone XL would be a disaster for our climate and communities, and what’s more, TransCanada’s own CEO questions whether there’s even demand for it in the first place,” Turnbull said. “There’s simply no reason to build this dangerous pipeline and put us all at risk.”
Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environment Network, and Oil Change International have presented Solar XL, a project looking to replace the corporate world's need for the pipeline with American-made solar panels.
“Solar XL is about showing what’s possible at a massive scale — a renewable energy economy that doesn’t sacrifice our communities or our climate,” Sara Shor, Keep It in the Ground campaign manager for 350.org, said in a press statement via EcoWatch. “Putting solar panels in the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline will help power the homes of Nebraskans refusing to give in to the fossil fuel industry’s greed.”
Learn more about Solar XL here.