One of the biggest oilsands mining projects in Canada appears to be kaput.
Today, Teck Resources Limited announced that it's is withdrawing its application to the federal government for the $20-billion Frontier Project north of Fort McMurray.
In a letter to Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, Teck president and CEO Don Lindsay expressed disappointment at arriving at this decision.
"Teck put forward a socially and environmentally responsible project that was industry leading and had the potential to create significant economic benefits for Canadians," Lindsay wrote. "Frontier had unprecedented support from Indigenous communities and was deemed to be in the public interest by a joint federal-provincial review panel following weeks of public hearings and a lengthy regulatory process."
He also stated that "global capital markets are changing rapidly and investors and customers are increasingly looking for jurisdictions to have a framework in place that reconciles resource development and climate change, in order to produce the cleanest possible products".
"This does not yet exist here today and, unfortunately, the growing debate around this issue has placed Frontier and our company squarely at the nexus of much broader issues that need to be resolved," Lindsay added. "In that context, it is now evident that there is no constructive path forward for the project."
The letter didn't make any mention of the growingly influential movement to divest from fossil-fuel companies.
The company will write down the $1.3-billion carrying value of the Frontier Project.
Teck's mine was slated to operate for four decades, producing 260,000 barrels of bitumen per day, just 30 kilometres from the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park.
According to an article in the Guardian by environmentalist Tzeporah Berman, would discharge six million tonnes of greenhouse gases every year
Wilkinson said earlier this year that the federal government would make a decision on the project by the end of February.
Alberta premier Jason Kenney described Teck's decision as a "grave disappointment" to the people in his province.
In a statement, he also said it wasn't surprising "when governments lack the courage to defend the interests of Canadians in the face of a militant minority".
"Alberta has lost the opportunity for 7,000 jobs and Canada has lost the opportunity for $70 billion...in new tax and royalty revenue that could have funded our generous social services over the next four decades," Kenney stated.
Climate-justice activist Bill McKibben, a cofounder of 350.org, tweeted that campaigners "have seemingly won a signal victory against a giant tarsands mine".
"The company says that 'investors' worried about climate make it impossible to proceed," McKibben declared. "What great organizing!"
Two weeks ago, Green MP Elizabeth May asked the prime minister in Parliament if he would cancel the Frontier Project, which would release millions and millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Wilkinson answered the question, first saying that Canadians elected the Liberals "to protect the environment, to grow the economy, advance reconciliation, and create good jobs".
Then he said that his party would take all of those factors into account in making its determination.
However, there were media reports, including one by Huffington Post's Althia Raj, that many Liberal MPs in Ontario and Quebec opposed the Frontier Project.
“If we are truly committed to net zero by 2050, and to the science, and to the world, and to our future and tackling climate change,” Ontario Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith told Raj, “there is no explanation sitting here today as to how this project fits within that commitment. So should it proceed as it stands? I think it’s a pretty easy no.”