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FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the Keystone XL Pipeline

The U.S. continues to import about 9.1 million barrels of oil a day from 90 countries across the globe. When completed, Keystone XL will play a critical role in connecting the world’s third largest oil reserve with the world’s largest refining market at the U.S. Gulf Coast. In fact, this project will enhance continental energy security and enhance national security for both Canada and the United States. In addition, it will enhance global security as responsible nations such as Canada and the U.S. become energy suppliers to other nations around the world.

With construction currently underway, this project is creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic benefits for the states, provinces and communities it traverses.

We made considerable progress in 2020 on construction activity in both the U.S. and Canada, injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the North American economy and creating thousands of jobs. We completed the border crossing between Montana and Saskatchewan earlier in the spring, and we kicked-off mainline construction in Alberta on 145 kilometres (90 miles) of pipe installation. We also began construction on 17 pump station sites, as well as workforce camps, in both the U.S. and Canada.

We anticipate kicking off our 2021 construction season in the spring.

Keystone XL has evolved considerably since it was originally conceived, and this project will serve as the gold standard for responsible and sustainable energy infrastructure development. While the project remains as critical as ever to meeting today’s economic and security needs, our enhancements ensure that Keystone XL meets America’s energy needs now, and in the future, in a socially responsible manner and to the highest safety and environmental standards.

Examples of project enhancements include Indigenous community partnerships, with equity ownership in the project, allowing the realization of long-term, meaningful economic benefits for Indigenous communities, while also offering a seat at the table during construction. Keystone XL has also committed to construct the project using union labour, creating thousands of union jobs while investing more than $10 million to create a Green Jobs Training Fund, which will help train union workers for jobs on a growing number of renewable energy projects expected in the coming years.

Keystone XL will also continue to listen carefully to our stakeholders and is committed to long-term sustainability and advancing further initiatives to continue enhancing the project.

With the current and evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Keystone XL and its prime contractors are taking proactive steps to manage the health risk and prevent the spread of the infection during construction on Keystone XL.

We have put into place policies and protocols to ensure the safety of our workers, our contractors and our communities. Throughout construction, we will follow all guidelines and take directions from all applicable regulatory agencies, including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our goal is to maintain business continuity while ensuring the health and safety of our workforce, their families and our communities.

On August 5, 2020, Keystone XL proudly signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with four leading trade unions, ensuring this pipeline will be built by the highest-skilled and highest-trained workforce, while injecting hundreds of millions of dollars in middle-class wages into the American economy.

As part of that agreement, we helped to develop an exciting new training program to help union workers acquire new, specialized skills required to work in the developing renewable energy sector. Under the PLA, we will contribute approximately $10 million to the Green Jobs Training Fund.

The four unions that are part of the PLA:

  • Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA)
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters and the North America’s Building Trade Unions

Construction of Keystone XL will create 10,400 high-quality jobs and local contracting opportunities for welders, surveyors, engineers, environmental specialists and more for communities and Indigenous groups.

Overall, construction will support nearly 42,000 direct, indirect and induced employment opportunities generated by the business that will be created supplying goods and services to the project and the project’s workforce.

To find out more about jobs and work on the project visit our Employment page.

Construction of Keystone XL will create 2,800 high-quality jobs and local contracting opportunities for welders, surveyors, engineers, environmental specialists and more for communities and Indigenous groups.

Overall, construction will support nearly 17,000 jobs in Canada. These are direct, indirect and induced jobs generated by the business that will be created supplying goods and services to the project and the project’s workforce.

To find out more about jobs and work on the project visit our Employment page.

Keystone XL will provide substantial economic benefits to the U.S. The pipeline will contribute $3.4 billion to the United States GDP during construction.

It will also generate more than $55 million in property taxes in the first year of operation in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, directly benefiting local communities to build new roads and support schools, hospitals and first responders.

The Keystone Pipeline System has already generated $419 million in property tax revenue to date.

Keystone XL will provide substantial economic benefits to the U.S. The pipeline will contribute $2.4 billion to the Canadian GDP, during construction.

It will also generate more than $7 million in property taxes in the first year of operation in two provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan, directly benefiting local communities to build new roads and support schools, hospitals and first responders.

The Keystone Pipeline System has already generated $81 million in property tax revenue to date.

Every day, we do our part to manage our GHG emissions, and the programs and initiatives we have in place sufficiently meet regulatory requirements.

GHG emissions associated with alternative transportation scenarios, such as shipping oil by rail, barge and truck are significantly greater than Keystone XL.

Learn more aboutTC Energy’s approach to sustainability and climate change at our 2020 Report on Sustainability website.

We know pipelines are the safest method of transporting crude oil and natural gas over long distances, and we are constantly striving to make them safer. We believe that zero incidents is an achievable goal. Every day, our teams across North America work tirelessly to proactively maintain our pipelines, adopting innovative solutions in energy transportation and incorporating past learnings to push us closer to our ‘zero is real’ goal.

New technologies and engineering techniques allow pipelines such as Keystone XL to be safely installed below a river bed, leaving the natural resources above intact and undisturbed.

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is an environmentally friendly method used to cross sensitive areas with minimal impact to the surrounding area.

HDD crossings bury the pipe deeper on both sides of the riverbank, providing greater protection from floods and high water levels. Pipe used for river crossings has thicker steel with additional anti-corrosion and abrasion resistant coatings.

At TC Energy, we are committed to protecting the environment.

We believe that when we build an asset, we temporarily borrow the land. Once our projects are constructed, we reclaim to equivalent land capability and biological diversity. Over the course of our more than 65-year history TC Energy has successfully reclaimed thousands of acres of land in many different ecological regions throughout North America. .

Our commitment to the protection of the environment does not end with successful reclamation after construction. TC Energy has an extensive environmental management program to ensure ongoing, day-to-day protection of the environment, including detailed operating procedures, extensive employee training and routine inspections and audits.

We’re committed to protecting the environment throughout the complete life cycle of our assets, from business development to project planning and design, through construction and operations to remediation and final decommissioning.

Working with scientists, biologists, engineers and other experts, TC Energy completes environmental impact assessments for our projects. The environmental impact assessment includes field studies which examine existing natural resources and land use along our proposed project footprint, such as vegetation, soils, wildlife, water resources, marine ecosystems, wetlands and protected areas.

Information gathered for an environmental impact assessment is used to develop project-specific protection plans. When it comes to protecting biodiversity these plans may include measures such as avoiding habitat of sensitive species, monitoring wildlife during construction, restricting construction during wildlife activity periods, selecting specific construction methods designed to reduce impact on plant habitat, restoring wildlife habitat and more.

In November of 2020, TC Energy proudly announced that it had entered into a long-term and historic partnership on Keystone XL with the Natural Law Energy (NLE), which represents several Indigenous communities in Canada. Under the agreement, the five First Nations that are represented by NLE will be able to make an equity investment of up to $1 billion dollars in the project, creating economic prosperity for generations to come and giving Indigenous communities a seat at the table during construction.

This initiative is in addition to the more than $600 million in Indigenous supplier and employment opportunities expected to be created through the project’s construction.

Yes. As the project advances through construction, TC Energy will continue to talk to other Indigenous communities in both Canada and the U.S. about creating an equity partnership. It is our hope that the historic partnership that we signed with the Natural Law Energy group in Canada is just the beginning and that other communities will take a similar interest. We believe it is simply the right thing to do.