TC Energy Corporation announced plans for a significant investment in renewable energy in a bid to achieve net zero emissions for its Keystone XL pipeline project. The announcement was made days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, amidst media reports that Biden will cancel the controversial project’s permits upon taking office.

The Keystone Pipeline System, stretches 4,324 km (2,687 miles), playing a key role in delivering crude oil supplies, including oil from Canada’s oil sands, to refineries in Illinois, Oklahoma and the US Gulf Coast. Oil sands are considered one of the most environmentally damaging sources of crude oil, and have been a frequent target of exclusions for sustainability-focused investment managers and financiers.

TC Energy’s new sustainability goals include achieving net zero emissions across Keystone XL project operations when it is placed into service in 2023 and a commitment to fully power the operations with renewable energy sources by 2030. The company expects the initiative to involve investments of more than $1.7 billion, and to generate approximately 1.6 gigawatts of renewable electric capacity.

Keystone XL President Richard Prior said:

“Since it was initially proposed more than 10 years ago, the Keystone XL project has evolved with the needs of North America, our communities and the environment. We are confident that Keystone XL is not only the safest and most reliable method to transport oil to markets, but the initiatives announced today also ensures it will have the lowest environmental impact of an oil pipeline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Canada and the United States are among the most environmentally responsible countries in the world with some of the strictest standards for fossil fuel production.”

TC Energy stated that the initiative will eliminate the impact of GHG emissions from the project’s operations, and enable Keystone XL to allow responsibly produced Canadian oil to be safely transported into the United States from many producers who have set their own net zero emissions goals. The company noted that Canadian Oil Sands producers have cut emissions intensity by 21 percent in recent years and they are expected to fall another 27 percent by 2030.

François Poirier, President and Chief Executive Officer of TC Energy, said:

“At TC Energy, we are firmly committed to being part of the transition to the next generation of energy sources. Climate change is a serious issue and we have an important role to play in managing GHG emissions while balancing the need for safe, reliable and economic energy. Today’s announcement is directly in line with our goal of doing what’s right for our communities and signifies Keystone XL’s commitment to strengthen efforts to create a sustainable future for all.”