Keystone XL Pipeline Developer Cancels Challenge, Ending Decade-Lengthy Battle : NPR

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline has deserted the challenge after President Biden revoked a allow. It was a significant flashpoint within the debate over fossil fuels’ function in local weather change.


The Keystone XL oil pipeline is not going to be constructed. A ultimate affirmation got here yesterday from the corporate behind the controversial challenge, ending a decade-long battle. It’s a huge win for environmentalists and a defeat for the oil trade. NPR’s Jeff Brady has coated the Keystone XL virtually from the beginning. And he joins us now. Good morning, Jeff.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: Good morning.

MCCAMMON: Effectively, as we each know, that is one thing pipeline opponents have been combating for years. I bear in mind reporting on this difficulty years in the past after I was based mostly within the Midwest. How are these activists responding now?

BRADY: They’re undoubtedly celebrating. I talked with Jane Kleeb from the group Daring Nebraska, which began the marketing campaign towards the Keystone XL as a result of landowners there did not need the pipeline crossing their property. And in addition, there was a number of concern that it might threaten the Ogallala Aquifer. Kleeb says she spent a number of time in a minivan going to rodeos, bars and church basements, attempting to persuade folks to hitch her in stopping the pipeline.

JANE KLEEB: You recognize, within the early days, we had been organizing. And each single particular person, you already know, aside from my household and the pharmacy’s lands was going to be taken, instructed us that we had been by no means going to win, that there is no such thing as a manner which you can battle a giant company and truly win.

BRADY: Now that they’ve gained, Kleeb says she was experiencing every kind of feelings. She’s completely happy, in fact. But additionally, she’s relieved that it is over and the pipeline will not come by means of Nebraska.

MCCAMMON: And as you already know, the oil trade pushed laborious for this challenge. What are you listening to from the trade?

BRADY: Yeah. This can be a huge loss for the oil trade. If that pipeline had been constructed, it might transport oil from Alberta all the way down to the Gulf Coast for many years. The trade and the corporate constructing the challenge, TC Power, mentioned it might have generated hundreds of jobs, development jobs, principally, which suggests they’d go away as soon as it was constructed. It might have created solely about 50 everlasting direct jobs. Nonetheless, these arguments satisfied former President Trump to reverse Obama’s choice to dam the pipeline. Then when Biden grew to become president, he reversed the reversal and blocked it once more. With none choices, now the corporate is pulling the plug. And the American Petroleum Institute mentioned this was a blow to U.S. vitality safety. The trade typically argued that it is higher to get oil from pleasant Canadians than from hostile governments abroad. However that argument, it misplaced some steam as home oil manufacturing elevated due to fracking. Now the U.S. truly exports oil.

MCCAMMON: And an necessary distinction right here was the type of oil the Keystone XL would have moved. I imply, it is totally different from what folks would possibly consider, proper?

BRADY: Yeah. It is not the sort that gushes up from the bottom. This needs to be mined. And I visited a type of mines in Alberta. It is simply overwhelming. There are these large pits. They appear to be the Grand Canyon. There is a heavy tar scent within the air. Some folks name this tar sands oil. It has the consistency of Play-Doh. So it wants additional processing to show it into crude oil. Normally, that is warmth, which suggests producing this oil emits extra greenhouse gases. That is why environmental teams targeted their efforts on stopping this pipeline. They need that oil sands or tar sands crude left within the floor. And scientists say doing that will probably be essential to keep away from the worst results of local weather change.

MCCAMMON: We have seen related protests over different pipelines in lots of elements of the nation. I consider the Dakota Entry Challenge a number of years in the past. What’s the finish of the Keystone XL imply for future pipeline battles?

BRADY: Effectively, pipeline opponents, they’re invigorated and emboldened by the Keystone XL win. Whereas the Dakota Entry is shifting oil out of North Dakota now. Its future is unsure due to court docket challenges that also have not been resolved. And now in Minnesota, there are protests round Enbridge’s Line 3 challenge that is underneath development. A number of these protesters are calling on President Biden to cease Line 3 pipeline, identical to he stopped the Keystone XL.

MCCAMMON: That is NPR’s Jeff Brady. Thanks a lot on your reporting.

BRADY: Thanks.

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