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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Keystone XL Pipeline

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on July 6 that construction on the Keystone XL pipeline project cannot begin. The justices upheld a lower court ruling in April that denied a key permit for the long-delayed project.

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The Supreme Court ordered that the Keystone XL project cannot use the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers “Nationwide Permit 12” aimed at fast-tracking construction of vital oil and gas infrastructure. However, the justices ruled that other pipeline projects could return to using the permit that allows pipelines to cross rivers with minimal review as long as they meet certain criteria.

In March, project owner TC Energy Corp. announced that it was proceeding with construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, stating that the project would require an investment of approximately $8 billion.

RELATED: TC Energy to Build Keystone XL, Addresses COVID-19 Concerns

Then, a Montana judge in April canceled the permit for Keystone XL, ruling that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to consider the effects of the pipeline on a fish species in the rivers that the pipeline would cross when it reissued the permit.

In May, after a strong first quarter, TC Energy announced it was increasing capital expenditure in 2020 to account for the additional $8 billion in funding needed to build the pipeline. The company has remained steadfast in its determination to complete the project, despite delays dating back to 2008.

RELATED: TC Energy Reports Strong First Quarter, Plans to Increase Spending

At 1,210-miles long, the Keystone XL project will be capable of delivering 830,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it will connect with TC Energy’s existing facilities to reach U.S. Gulf Coast refiners to meet critical needs for transportation fuel and useful manufactured products. The company had planned to place the pipeline in service in 2023.

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