Above photo: Shawnee Rae (age 8) was with a group of Native American activists from the Sisseton-Wahpeton tribe who protested the Keystone XL pipeline project in Watertown, South Dakota. Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images.
Biden Plans to Rescind Keystone XL Permit.
âOur communities have been fighting KXL for over a decade, tooth and nail, in the dirt and in the courts.â
UPDATE: NPR reports that the Biden administration did revoke the permit for the KXL Pipeline. This would not have happened if the movement hadnât fought so hard for it. Seeking Alpha writes that TC Energy, the company building the pipeline, knew this cancellation was likely and has been taking on new projects to maintain its profits. TC Energy will continue to lobby for the permit to be reinstated, so the struggle does not end here. â MF
President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly planning on the day of his inauguration to rescind a federal permit allowing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States, a move environmentalists said would represent an immense victory for the planet attributable to years of tireless Indigenous-led opposition to the dirty-energy project.
CBC News reported Sunday that âthe words âRescind Keystone XL pipeline permitâ appear on a list of executive actions supposedly scheduled for Day One of Bidenâs presidency,â which begins with his swearing-in on Wednesday. The withdrawal of the Keystone XL permit is among several environment-related actions Biden plans to take via executive order during his first day in office, a list that includes rejoining the Paris climate accord.
âA huge victory for Lakota and Indigenous front liners and Water Protectors. None of this would have been possible without their sacrifices,â Nick Estes, a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and an assistant professor of American studies at the University of New Mexico, tweeted in response to Bidenâs reported plan for Keystone XL, a sprawling $8 billion tar sands project that the Trump administration repeatedly sought to advance amid legal challenges and widespread grassroots resistance.
Kendall Mackey, Keep It in the Ground campaign manager for 350.org, said in a statement late Sunday that preventing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. would be a âmomentous signâ that Biden âis listening, taking action, and making good on his promises to people and the planet.â
âThis decision to halt the Keystone XL pipeline on day one in office sets a precedent that all permitting decisions must pass a climate test and respect Indigenous rights,â said Mackey. âWe expect the administration to make similar announcements on Dakota Access Pipeline and Line 3. We celebrate this great victory and the powerful movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground.â
âBy ensuring that Keystone XL is reversed,â Mackey continued, âBiden is standing on the side of tribal nations, farmers, ranchers, and many communities whose livelihoods would be wrecked by this dirty pipeline.â
Weâve been fighting this pipeline for nearly 10 years.
I know the danger. The 1st Keystone Pipeline spilled half a million gallons next to my Rez.
Now Biden is planning to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline permit on his 1st day. https://t.co/inD0gt281X
â Ruth H. Hopkins, B.S., M.S., J.D. (@Ruth_HHopkins) January 18, 2021
News of Bidenâs Inauguration Day plan was met with howls of protest from right-wing Canadian politicians such as Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, who issued a statement Sunday threatening legal action if Biden follows through on yanking the permit for Keystone XL, owned by Canada-based company TC Energy. Last March, as Common Dreams reported, the government of Alberta committed around $1.1 billion USD to the pipeline project.
âI am deeply concerned by reports that the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden may repeal the presidential permit for the Keystone XL border crossing,â Kenney tweeted, a response that was immediately panned by climate activists.
Kenney chose this very obviously unbuildable project over 11,000 health care jobs, over safe schools in a pandemic, over proper paid sick leave, over #AHS4All migrant workers, over a just transition for oil workers whose jobs aren’t coming back. https://t.co/9eCwA99Os0
â Climate Justice Edmonton đ (@CJEdmonton) January 18, 2021
In a last-ditch effort to rescue its long-delayed Keystone XL project, TC Energy is reportedly âcommitting to spend $1.7 billion on solar, wind, and battery power to operate the partially completed 2,000-mile pipeline system between Alberta, in western Canada, and Texas,â according to the Wall Street Journal.
The attempt to brand Keystone XL as an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy project was swiftly ridiculed, with one journalist accusing TC Energy of a âdesperateâ effort to put âlipstick on its pig.â
Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It in the Ground campaign organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, said in response to Bidenâs plan to rescind the pipeline permit that âour communities have been fighting KXL for over a decade, tooth and nail, in the dirt and in the courts.â
âWe formed an immensely powerful, unlikely alliance of voices and we never gave up,â said Goldtooth. âI will wait for the ink to dry before I fully celebrate, but shit this feels good.â