Timeline: Keystone XL
Pipeline ISDS Case

2008: KXL Pipeline Proposed

The Keystone XL pipeline, proposed by TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) in 2008, would have pumped 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day across 1,200 miles of U.S. land and native territories, putting people and the environment at risk. The pipeline would have also undermined important climate goals.

2015: Pipeline Project Rejected

In November 2015, after tens of thousands of activists nationwide demonstrated the pipeline was not in the national interests and would pose serious health and environmental risks, the Obama administration rejected the proposed pipeline. This historic rejection marked the first time a major fossil fuel project was denied over climate concerns. It also sparked a grassroots movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground in a global effort to address climate change.

2017: Trump Resurrects the Pipeline

Trump signed an executive to allow the pipeline to move forward. Protests and demonstrations continued to stall the project, led by native tribes, farmers, ranchers, and environmental activists.

2020: USMCA Goes into Effect

U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) goes into effect, replacing the more extreme ISDS rules in the original North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

2021: Biden Pulls the Pipeline Plug

Biden pulled the plug on the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office over serious longstanding climate, environmental and health concerns of the crude oil project.

2022: ISDS Case

TC Energy uses ISDS to sue the U.S. government for $15 billion from U.S. taxpayers for “lost profits” claiming this violated its rights under NAFTA, even though the estimated cost of the project was to be $8 billion, and only $1.1 billion had been invested in the project.


2023: ISDS Case Costs

The U.S. government has already paid out $250,000 in taxpayer money to cover the initial tribunal members’ fees and expenses and will be expected to advance additional funds to the tribunal as the arbitration progresses.