Keystone XL Pipeline Facts & Myth

Addressing Myths and Facts

South Dakotans who live along this proposed pipeline route have asked numerous questions about the Keystone XL Pipeline. Some have concerns about the effects it could impact their property and their communities, and all of the United States as a whole. It’s time to clear the air and make clear the facts about the vital infrastructure piece.

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Myth: Projects such as Keystone XL does not benefit the South Dakotans. The economic and job creation benefits will only last for a short time.

Fact: The construction of the Keystone XL will create between 3,500 and 4,500 indirect and direct employment opportunities in South Dakota, which will bring in more than 100 million dollars in revenue all across the state.

Seven of the 9 counties of South Dakota will see their property tax base rise to more than 10, with some being much more. In reality, South Dakota counties will receive around 20 million dollars in annual tax revenues to support local infrastructure needs such as bridges, roads, hospitals, and other facilities that will enhance the quality of life for the residents of South Dakota.

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MYTH This is the Keystone XL Pipeline route permit through South Dakota.

Fact: The permit that allows Keystone XL to be constructed through South Dakota remains in effect. There is no indication that the permit will expire – and this is consistent with the South Dakota law.

Quick Facts

  • Keystone XL Keystone XL (529 kilometers) within Canada (Hardisty, Alta. from Monchy, Sask.)
  • 841 miles (1,351 km) in the United States (Phillips County, Mont. up to Steele City, Neb.)
  • 36-inch diameter pipeline capacity of 830,000 barrels of oil per day

Myth: Since the permit for the route was first issued in the year 2010, there is no requirement for Keystone XL in South Dakota.

Fact: The need for the project continues to be vital as well. Keystone XL is a better project for South Dakotans in the present because of the numerous improvements and better conditions.

Myth: TransCanada is not taking into account the concerns or needs of the South Dakota tribal community members.

The truth is: Keystone XL doesn’t cross any reservation lands or land which are in trust in South Dakota.

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However, TransCanada has been working with South Dakota tribes over the duration of Keystone XL. Keystone XL project to constructively and actively solve any issues or concerns and develop long-lasting friendships that are mutually beneficial.

Myth: “Keystone XL will be an import pipeline that connects China.”

Fact: Not a single drop of crude oil is exported.

Keystone XL Pipeline Keystone XL Pipeline is not an export pipeline for crude oil and is not even a pipeline. It is a supply line for U.S. Gulf Coast refineries that have signed 20-year, binding commercial contracts to get oil via Keystone XL. This oil is needed to allow refineries to produce products we use every day — gasoline for our cars and aviation fuels, and diesel fuels for transporting goods across the continent.

It’s not sensible for companies to buy less expensive Canadian crude and then have to pay (again) the cost of shipping the product abroad. Then, they continue to purchase higher-priced crude from the Middle East and Venezuela. The U.S. is indeed an overwhelming net importer of crude oil.

It is estimated that the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) have both predicted that the U.S. will still need to import oil to meet its domestic demand for years to come oil production across America. U.S. and Canadian production transposed by displacing more expensive crude oils from less stable nations. 

Myth: Oil Sands crude has more corrosion than standard crude and can cause pipeline leaks.

The truth is that oil Sands crude is not different from all other heavier crude and is safe to transport through pipelines.

Numerous internationally-renowned laboratory studies, including a study by the National Academy of Sciences, have proven that pipelines carrying oil sands oil are as safe as pipelines transporting crude oil.

Myth: Landowners are responsible and liable if there is an oil leak.

Fact: TransCanada is 100 % accountable for cleaning up, responding to, and cleaning up this site, in the case of a pipeline leak.

Keystone XL Pipeline Fact & Myth

In the months after U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline for oil and other social media posts were claiming that the pipeline “was at Phase 4 & just about done” and that it was “paid for” at the time Biden “pulled them out.” While it’s certain that the project was funded and was mostly scheduled to be released by 2021 or 2022, this assertion is not entirely true since less than 10 percent of the pipeline was completed at the time Biden officially pulled the permit.

These posts pertain to Keystone XL Pipeline; a project Biden canceled during his first day as president in January. 21 2021. Biden dealt the ultimate blow to a long-running project which would have transported 830,000 barrels a day of crude from heavy oil-sands from Alberta up to Nebraska.

Indigenous communities and environmental activists welcomed the decision, and analysts and traders believed that U.S.-Canada pipelines would have the capacity to handle the growing volumes of crude coming from Canada, which is the main foreign oil supplier for America ( here). United States ( here).

A diagram of the Keystone XL’s route in conjunction with the existing Keystone Pipeline System, operating since 2010, can be found on this page.

Keystone XL Pipeline Facts

In claiming that it is at “Phase four” in construction, these posts confuse Keystone Pipeline XL Pipeline with the bigger Keystone Pipeline System.

North American company TC Energy owns the pipeline, the Keystone XL Pipeline “is the fourth stage of the Keystone Pipeline System,” an existing 2,687-mile pipeline that’s Canadian part “runs through Hardisty, Alberta, east to Manitoba, which is where it turns south before crossing across the line across into North Dakota,” according to the website of the company.

Within the United States, the existing Keystone Pipeline System runs from the North Dakota border “south through South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska. It divides into two arms – one running east through Missouri for delivery into Wood River and Patoka, Ill. The other runs south through Oklahoma up to Cushing and further south towards Port Arthur and Houston, Texas.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline, a planned extension to this larger system that would run 1,210 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska, is considered “the fourth phase of the Keystone Pipeline System” (

Reuters interviewed James Stevenson, a spokesperson for the Canada Energy Regulator, which is responsible for the Canadian part of Keystone XL Pipeline. Stevenson confirmed that, as of the end of 2020, approximately the equivalent of 152 km, or 93 miles of the pipeline, was in place close to bordering the U.S.-Canada border.

So, around 8 percent of the 1,210-mile extension of XL had been completed by the time president Biden canceled the permission.


According to the March 2020 TC Energy press release, the estimated price for the project was expected to be about $8 billion.

As of the release, at the time of publication, the Government of Alberta had invested $1.1 billion into the project, primarily to cover the cost of construction until 2020’s close, according to the report from TC Energy.

The press release also said it was expected that the remainder of $6.9 billion required for construction was anticipated “to be made mainly in 2021 and 2022. It will be is funded by the combination of a US$4.2 billion credit for projects facility that is fully secured from Alberta’s Government of Alberta and a US$2.7 billion investment made by TC Energy.”

This means that 14 percent of the investment completed in 2020. The remainder was 86% secured and anticipated to be paid between 2021 and 2022.

I was inquiring about whether any additional funds were deposited in the period between January 1 and January 20, 2021; Reuters tried to contact TC Energy but did not respond by the deadline to publish this story.

The Reuters Fact Check team previously denied the claims of social media outlets about Keystone XL Pipeline. Keystone XL Pipeline.


Partly true. Although it was true that the Keystone Pipeline XL was able to secure the full amount of funding up to 2022, only 8% of the pipeline was built when President Biden canceled the approval within the United States.

This piece was written through The Reuters Fact Check team. Learn more about our efforts to check the accuracy of social media content.

About Chris

Chris Evan was born in Quebec and raised in Montreal, except for the time when he moved back to Quebec and attended high school there. He studied History and Literature at the University of Toronto. He began writing after obsessing over books.

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