By Joseph Chalfant

On June 9, Canadian pipeline company TC Energy announced that the Keystone XL pipeline project was canceled.

The 1,179-mile-long project came under fire on Inauguration Day, when President Joe Biden issued an executive order to cancel the permit for its construction. According to AP, the pipeline could have carried up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day and would have acted as an artery for oil distribution across the Midwest and Gulf Coast.

The cancellation comes as gas prices have reached a seven-year peak. As of May, the average price for a gallon was $3.04. This is a $1.08 jump over last year, and experts said that prices might hold steady for the summer. With vaccination numbers climbing, more and more Americans are leaving their homes. Demand has risen to 9.5 million barrels per day, according to Energy Information Administration data.

President Biden’s decision was another reversal in a long battle between Democrats and Republicans over the project’s future. Construction on the pipeline initially ceased after an Obama-era decision to cancel permits. Days into former president Donald Trump’s tenure, the project was resumed but was inhibited by numerous legal battles.

Environmental activists celebrated the latest development, heralding the decision as a sign that the age of fossil fuels is ending.

“This victory puts polluters and their financiers on notice: Terminate your fossil fuel projects now — or a relentless mass movement will stop them for you,” campaign manager Kendall Mackey told the New York Times. 

Some Canadian politicians expressed their discontent with the move. 

“We remain disappointed and frustrated with the circumstances surrounding the Keystone XL project, including the cancellation of the presidential permit for the pipeline’s border crossing,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, whose province invested more than $1 billion into the project.

Republicans pushed back on the closing since it was announced in January, citing thousands of potential job losses. On June 9, 11 Republican senators introduced the Defending Keystone Jobs Act. They claim that about 11,000 high-paying jobs were lost due to the cancelation and that up to 60,000 jobs were lost both directly and indirectly, according to a press release from Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), a co-sponsor of the bill.