Construction has begun on the Keystone XL pipeline.
A release from the Province of Alberta states that shovels are officially in the ground following what was nearly 12 years of planning and negotiations surrounding the nearly 2,000 km-long pipeline.
“After many years of stringent environmental review, collaboration with landowners, local officials, and Indigenous groups and a dogged determination to never say die, this project – essential to our economic recovery – is well underway,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in the release.
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“Not only will Keystone XL create jobs when they are needed most, it will strengthen continental energy security and independence by ensuring that Canadian oil – developed under the world’s highest environmental, human rights, and labour standards – continues to be a dominant force in global supply.”
The pipeline will connect Albertan oil from the town of Hardisty to Steele City, Nebraska, and from there on to oil refineries on the US East Coast.
The Alberta government expects construction of the project to see 2,000 Albertan workers hired over the next two years, contribute around 2.4 billion to Canada’s GDP, and generate $7 million in property taxes in its first year as well as $30 billion in tax and royalty revenues in the long-term according to the release.
“Keystone XL is an important energy infrastructure project that is poised to put thousands of people to work, generate substantial economic benefits and strengthen North American energy security,” said Keystone XL President Richard Prior in the release.
“We greatly appreciate Premier Kenney’s partnership in this important investment and we look forward to working with his government as we continue to invest in and strengthen Alberta’s economy.”
Alberta has invested $1.5 billion into the project, and is responsible for constructing 269 km of the pipeline.
Keystone XL expected to be operational by 2023.