The Canadian company TC Energy announced on Tuesday that it has sought compensation from the United States Government for the suspension of the Keystone XL pipeline. The amount requested by the firm in charge of this work is about 15,000 million US dollars. “TC Energy has a responsibility to its shareholders to try to recover the losses suffered by the presidential order that led to the closure of the project,” the company said in a statement. On January 20, the same day he took office, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order rescission of the Keystone XL construction and operating permits.
The pipeline project has been accompanied since its inception – more than 12 years ago – by a wave of criticism and legal recourse, mainly from environmentalists, indigenous groups and farmers. Keystone XL sought to connect Hardisty (Alberta) with Steele City (Nebraska) to transport about 830,000 barrels of oil per day through a 1,930-kilometer line. Barack Obama had stopped the initiative in 2015, but Donald Trump reauthorized it in 2017. His suspension was part of Joe Biden’s campaign promises.
Following Biden’s executive order, TC Energy announced its definitive withdrawal from the project in June, “after extensive review of its options and in consultation with its partner, the Government of Alberta.” The total cost of the pipeline was around US $ 8 billion. Alberta injected about 1,070 million from the public coffers. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not hide his disappointment at Biden’s decision, but acknowledged that it had been an electoral promise from the Democrat. Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney said the move was a “blow” to the economies of his province and Canada. The Alberta Government has indicated its intention to go to court, but has not yet taken the step.
TC Energy requested compensation through a request for arbitration, in accordance with Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and not under the Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (T-MEC), which came into effect in July 2020. The reason is that the Keystone XL project began when NAFTA was operating. The directors of the firm have indicated that they only seek compensation for damages and interests, and that they do not intend to revive the work. The amount requested from Washington is the highest by a Canadian company. The TC Energy Company is based in Calgary; It has a market value of US $ 47.75 billion.
Some experts have stated in the Canadian specialized press that TC Energy could be victorious, since it was the only company affected by the cancellation of the project and did not receive any compensation, in addition to the fact that a claim from the Government of Alberta would increase the pressure. However, other analysts emphasize that the United States has never lost a case filed before Chapter 11. They also point out that the cancellation came through a presidential order, and sustained mainly for environmental reasons, so the request of the Canadian company has a pessimistic outlook.
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