Montana Public Radio

TC Energy

Keystone Pipeline pumping station in Nebraska.
Flickr user shannonpatrick17 http://bit.ly/2H4u5Kk (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The sponsor of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline pulled the plug on the contentious project Wednesday after Canadian officials failed to persuade President Joe Biden to reverse his cancellation of its permit on the day he took office.

Montana’s attorney general is joining 20 other state attorneys general in suing to reverse Pres. Joe Biden’s decision to cancel a permit vital to building the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

Biden Cancels Keystone XL Border Crossing Permit

Jan 21, 2021

President Joe Biden followed through on a campaign promise on his first day in office and cancelled a permit required to build the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline.

One of Biden’s first executive orders included revoking the presidential permit Donald Trump granted Canadian developer TC Energy in 2019 to cross the international border into Montana.

County commissioners looking forward to incoming tax dollars expressed their disappointment at the decision, while environmental and tribal activists celebrated.

A Montana agency gave the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline the go ahead to cross water bodies in eastern Montana before the state could fully review over 650 public comments.

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality on Dec. 31 granted Canadian developer TC Energy a 401 Water Quality Certification to cross roughly 200 protected water bodies in Montana.

Federal law gives agencies up to a year to come to a decision on a certification.

A U.S. district court judge on Oct. 16 rejected tribes’ request for a temporary hold on construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in northern Montana.

The court will now determine whether President Donald Trump had authority to greenlight construction at the border between the United States and Canada.

Great Falls Judge Brian Morris said he won’t bar construction of a 1.2 mile section of pipe that crosses the U.S.-Canada border while he considers whether President Trump violated the U.S. constitution when he issued a 2019 permit.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Aug. 6, 2020 to include more detailed information about health and safety protocols TC Energy has required of its contracted workers, along with updated information from the Phillips County Health Department.

The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline confirmed Aug. 5 that two of its workers in northern Montana tested positive for the novel coronavirus last week.

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 6 upheld a stay on parts of construction for the 1,200-mile Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, which broke ground in northern Montana earlier this year.


This week, tribal members who protested the Keystone XL oil pipeline construction earlier this month submitted statements to a federal judge that they witnessed workers breaking social distancing protocol.

A federal judge in Montana Thursday heard arguments but made no ruling on tribes’ suit to halt construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The hearing was part of an ongoing lawsuit the Fort Belknap Indian community in Montana and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota brought against developer TC Energy and President Donald Trump.

Pipes for Keystone XL Pipeline.
shannonpatrick17 (CC-BY-2.0)

Construction on the long-stalled Keystone XL Pipeline started Monday, according to a Canadian company. Work on the U.S.-Canadian border kicked off despite calls from tribal leaders and environmentalists to delay the $8 billion project amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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