As yet another tar sands project fizzles, it’s clear the industry has no viable alternative to Keystone XL
This morning, TransCanada confirmed that it will not build a terminal for its proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline in Cacouna, Quebec, and that it has pushed back the target date for the massive tar sands pipeline to be in service by at least two years. This delay presents yet another major stumbling block for the tar sands industry’s expansion plans, with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers acknowledging that even at this time of low oil prices, a lack of additional pipeline capacity remains the industry’ s biggest obstacle for its long term growth.
The Canadian oil giant had faced ongoing opposition to the Cacouna terminal, which would have threatened the population of beluga whales in the area, and had already suspended construction last fall. But the cancellation of the terminal altogether and the delay on construction of the proposed pipeline is a major win for environmental groups, indigenous communities, and other opponents of the pipeline and tar sands development.
This development also calls further into question the industry’s claims that they will be able to develop dirty, carbon-intensive tar sands with or without the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. Energy East is just another in a series of delayed and canceled tar sands projects that make it clear that Keystone XL is the industry’s last hope for ramping up extraction of its climate-polluting oil. Without Keystone XL, massive amounts of tar sands will stay in the ground, and the climate will be safer for it.
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