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TC Energy announced last week that it was finally pulling the plug on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline extension. The project would have carried 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta to Nebraska every day. The company’s announcement was a foregone conclusion after President Joe Biden rescinded a key federal permit for Keystone XL on his first day in office

The project’s 12-year history is a crash course in the importance of executive action on oil pipelines’ prospects. Keystone XL, originally proposed in 2008, was approved, canceled, then re-approved by previous presidents before Biden delivered its death blow. Former President Obama approved the southern leg of the pipeline in 2012, but a flood of activism caused him to reject the northern leg. Donald Trump overturned that decision early in his presidency and issued a presidential permit to ensure the pipeline would move forward after construction was halted by a U.S. district judge. It was that presidential permit that Biden rescinded earlier this year.

While Biden acted swiftly and decisively on Keystone XL, delivering a long-fought win to environmental and Indigenous activists, he’s been fa... Read more

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