Energy & Environment

Company behind Keystone XL seeks $15B in damages from US

The company behind the now-abandoned Keystone XL pipeline hopes to obtain more than $15 billion from the U.S. government, alleging damages from President Biden’s revocation of its permit for the project. 

TC Energy announced in a Friday press release that it had filed a notice of intent with the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser to “initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.” 

The company, which announced last month that it was officially scrapping the pipeline project after Biden revoked a key permit on his first day in the Oval Office, said that it is seeking compensation for losses “suffered as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations.”

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment. 

The permit, which was approved by former President Trump in the first months of his presidency, had authorized the construction of a 1,200-mile pipeline that would have carried oil from Canada to the U.S.

The project was widely condemned by environmental and indigenous groups, which argued that it would have had detrimental environmental consequences, including further fueling climate change. 

Biden said his announcement pulling the order that the pipeline “disserves” the U.S. national interest, adding that “leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

After Biden revoked the permit in January, TC Energy said the move would force it to “immediately” lay off 1,000 workers. It was not clear if any of those jobs were held by Americans. 

“I believe this will send a concerning signal to infrastructure developers that resonates far beyond our project and will stifle innovation for a practical transition towards sustainable energy,” Keystone XL President Richard Prior said.

In March, a coalition of 21 states, led by Texas and Montana, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, arguing that the cross-border permit is a “regulation of interstate and international commerce” that should be decided by Congress. 

Tags biden administration Donald Trump environmental groups Indigenous people Joe Biden Keystone XL Keystone XL pipeline pipeline projects State Department TC Energy

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