In one of the largest trade appeals in history, Calgary-based TC Energy is demanding $15 billion from the US after President Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone XL expansion project even after it started.
“The U.S. decision to revoke the permit was unfair and inequitable,” Bloomberg reported TC Energy said in its filing, blaming the U.S. for putting Keystone XL on a 13-year “regulatory roller coaster.”
The claim is being launched under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement that allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. policy decisions.
Ironically, the US is facing soaring gas prices because they are currently dealing with a lack of oil. Biden cancelled the project on his first day in office in January.
Alberta had billions of dollars tied up in the project, with $1.5 billion of taxpayers’ money handed to TC Energy already, along with $6 billion in loan guarantees.
The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.
The new pipeline would have run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska and carried 900,000 barrels of oil a day.
Bloomberg said even if TC Energy is successful in it’s claim, they have no plans to restart the project.
“We had all the permits and requirements in place to start construction on the line, and did so, and we worked with federal and state regulators in both countries for a very long period of time. This is just about recovering that destroyed value of investment,” said Richard Prior, senior vice president for liquid pipelines.
The cancellation drew barely a murmur from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was livid.
Kenney claimed when Biden cancelled Keystone XL, he broke several free trade regulations.
“At the very least, I call upon the government of Canada to press the US administration to compensate TC Energy, and the Alberta government, for billions of dollars of cost incurred in the construction of Keystone XL to date,” Kenney said in a letter to Trudeau in January.
“These costs were incurred on the assumption that the United States had a predictable regulatory framework, and based on the presidential permit authorizing the Keystone XL border crossing which was installed in the summer of 2019.
“For the United States to retroactively cancel the permit, on the basis of which investments were made is a clear violation of the investor-protection provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which were extended as a result of your government’s successful negotiation of the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement.”