The election of Joe Biden as president likely means doom for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but analysts say the political calculus is more complicated for the Dakota Access pipeline project, which has been running for years.
Biden can unilaterally rescind the permit Pres. Trump granted for last year for Keystone XL, which is still not running more than a decade after being proposed because of legal and permitting delays and is a high-profile, symbolic target for the new administration.
But the politics of emptying Energy Transfer's (NYSE:ET) Dakota Access Pipeline - which has been running for years - would be more difficult if the pipeline is allowed to continue operating, after a federal judge ruled earlier this year that a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental review of the project's impacts was insufficient.
Lonnie Stephenson, a climate adviser to Biden and international president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, tells WSJ that Biden probably would not reflexively oppose all pipeline projects, adding that union leaders would push back if he works against Dakota Access.
Last March, TC Energy (NYSE:TRP) approved construction of Keystone XL, designed to transport up to 830K bbl/day of oil from Alberta to Nebraska, after the Alberta provincial government agreed to a big investment.