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Embattled Keystone XL pipeline continues to divide experts — even post-mortem

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CALGARY — Even after its death, the divisive Keystone XL pipeline continues to leave Canadian energy industry experts at odds.

While some suggest TC Energy Corp.'s cancellation of the project won't impact global emissions, others says it's a significant step in the fight against climate change. 

Dennis McConaghy, a retired oilpatch executive, calls the company's termination of the pipeline a capitulation to the environmental movement.

The former TransCanada executive says the death of the project hurts Canada's energy sector, but won't change global carbon emissions, noting that U.S. Gulf Coast refineries will instead source heavy oil from other countries that have lower environmental standards. 

But Chris Severson-Baker, the Pembina Institute's regional director for Alberta, says demand for fossil fuels is expected to wane as more action is taken to address climate change.

He says this will increasingly diminish the need for more pipeline capacity such as Keystone XL, which would have carried diluted bitumen from Alberta to U.S. refineries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.

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The Canadian Press