INTERNATIONAL NEWS - TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and the United States, on Wednesday suspended construction of the oil conduit that new US President Joe Biden has pledged to quickly block.
With Biden expected to rescind the permit for the partially completed project via executive order later in the day just hours after taking office, TC Energy said its "advancement of the project will be suspended."
The company said it was "disappointed" with the expected US action, claiming it would mean thousands of lost jobs.
"The decision would overturn an unprecedented, comprehensive regulatory process that lasted more than a decade and repeatedly concluded the pipeline would transport much needed energy in an environmentally responsible way while enhancing North American energy security," it added.
Canadian regulators approved the project in 2010 but it was then blocked by US president Barack Obama in 2015 due to environmental concerns - a decision that his successor Donald Trump reversed in 2017.
Although fiercely opposed by environmentalists and indigenous groups, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday he would press Biden in the coming days to reconsider his decision to scrap it.
The 1,210-mile (1,947-kilometer) pipeline, starting in 2023, was to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Alberta oil sands, which Biden has lambasted as producing a "very, very high pollutant," to Nebraska, and then through an existing system to refineries in coastal Texas.