For Immediate Release: March 24, 2017
Legal Experts, Landowners, Tribal Organizations and Green Groups Vow To Stop KXL Again
A Recording of Today’s Call Is Available Here
Washington, DC – On the heels of the Trump administration’s ill-advised signing of the federal permit on Keystone XL Pipeline, legal minds, landowners and environmental advocates outlined the numerous obstacles to KXL and vowed to renew the fight to beat the dangerous pipeline. A recording of today’s call is available here.
Resistance efforts are already afoot: a renewed effort to defund KXL Pipeline and its supporting companies has begun. Rallies are being planned across the country, including tonight in New York City at 5:30 pm EST at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York-Central Park and in Washington, D.C. at 5pm EST outside the White House. In Nebraska, Bold Nebraska will host a #NoKXL Letter-Writing Party to the Public Service Commission in Omaha, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Jane Kleeb, President, Bold Alliance, said, “Families along the proposed route and our drinking water are Trump’s political football. No announcement from the White House can distract from Trump’s constant lying. Keystone XL will use foreign steel, to transport foreign oil, to the foreign export market all while using eminent domain to take land away from farmers and ranchers. Keystone XL is and always will be all risk and no reward. Kind of like Pres. Trump.”
Chairman Larry Wright, Ponca Nation, said, “Our Nation has serious concerns about the safety and environmental impacts of this pipeline. We want to protect our historic, cultural, sacred and archaeological sites and resources in our federally recognized territory as well as our traditional and aboriginal territory here in Nebraska.”
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said, “Today, the fight to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline begins anew – and Donald Trump should expect far greater resistance than ever before. Indigenous people are rising up and fighting like our lives, sovereignty, and climate depend on it – because they do. Over and over again, we’ve seen Trump choose the profits of his billionaire friends over our sovereign, treaty and human rights. It shows a clear disregard of our tribal rights to consent and self-determination, and it is unacceptable in this day and age.
“The Trump Administration’s review of this toxic pipeline was tainted from the beginning, leaving no doubt that Trump would try to force this pipeline through regardless of the consequences it would have on the communities it touches, or on our climate. We’ve stopped the toxic Keystone XL Pipeline once, and we will do it again. Indigenous nations stand united not just here in the U.S. but around the world. This fight is not over, it is just beginning.”
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said, “The dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline is one of the worst deals imaginable for the American people, so of course Donald Trump supports it. This project has already been defeated, and it will be once again. The project faces a long fight ahead in the states, but the fact remains that the American people do not want more fossil fuels, we do not want our private and public lands destroyed by a pipeline carrying the dirtiest fuel around, and we do not want our future and our children’s future to continue be threatened by climate change.
“We’re living in what feels to be the worst version of Groundhog Day imaginable, as every morning we’re waking up to yet another decision made by Trump that would be disastrous for our climate, our communities, and our health – but Trump will not succeed. The pipeline will pollute our air and water, destroy farmers’ and ranchers’ property, and enrich the foreign oil barons and corporate polluters that have been stocking Trump’s cabinet and pulling his strings from the get-go. Ultimately, Trump’s announcement today will become just the latest decision he makes that results in failure.”
Tiernan Sittenfeld, SVP of Government Affairs for League of Conservation Voters, said, “The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was a terrible idea when it was first proposed nearly ten years ago, and it’s an even worse idea today. This dirty and dangerous export pipeline would run right through America’s heartland, threatening our water, our land, and our climate – all to pad the profits of a foreign oil company. Of course, it comes as no surprise that a State Department run by the former CEO of Exxon Mobil and an administration rife with climate deniers who have acted against public health, the environment and the clean energy economy at every turn would make such a misguided decision. This pipeline is all risk and no reward, and we will continue to fight it every step of the way.”
Wayne Frederick, Tribal Council Member, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said, “We are extremely disheartened by the current decision to approve this dead project, the KXL. This is a foreign project, yet the American people are taking all the risk. The bitumen is not sought after anymore on the market, and is certainly not worth jeopardizing the United States largest Aquifer. Professionally I would have hoped this President would have reached out to the Midwest tribes for input and perspective. Respect our Existence or Expect Resistance.”
Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth, said, “Donald Trump has betrayed the American people. This is another step in his unprecedented attack on public health and the environment. Today’s decision will galvanize Americans, and further stiffen resistance to Trump’s campaign to sacrifice our planet for Big Oil profits. The fight over Keystone XL is not over.”
Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), said, “People pressure remains the only force that can stop the misguided Keystone XL pipeline from being built. The difference now that the federal government is in direct collusion with the fossil fuel industry is that the movement opposing it must follow the money and turn its sights on the big banks that TransCanada depends on to finance its operations, including this multi-billion dollar project.”
Rhea Suh, President, Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “Keystone XL is all risk and no reward for the American people. It remains, and always will be, a threat to our land, water and climate. Today’s decision can never change those facts. We’ll use every tool in the kit to stop this dangerous tar sands oil pipeline project.”
Mike Hudema, Greenpeace Canada Climate Campaigner, said, “Keystone XL would threaten the drinking water supply of millions of Americans, trample Treaty rights, and accelerate greenhouse gas emissions on both sides of the Canada/US border. President Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline because of the threats it poses to the climate. We cannot let the Trump administration, supported by the Trudeau government, undo that progress. An alliance of Indigenous and climate action communities stopped KXL before, and we will do it again.
“If Prime Minister Trudeau collaborates with Trump to bring this pipeline into fruition, he’ll be going against the best interests of millions of Canadians and Americans who don’t want to see their drinking water jeopardized for a risky oil pipeline that neither country needs. It’s time for Prime Minister Trudeau to show the climate leadership he promised.”
Akilah Sanders-Reed, Oil Free Organizer, Power Shift Network, said, “Trump’s “approval” of the cross-border permit for Keystone XL doesn’t bring the pipeline any closer to being built than it was back in 2008. Despite skeptics and pessimists insisting the pipeline was a done deal, people across the country stood up to defend the drinking water of the Ogallala Aquifer, the rights of landowners in our heartland, the sovereignty of Native tribes, and the stability of our global climate. We proved that people power is more than capable of stopping the oil industry in its tracks—and we’ll do it again. Tar sands oil isn’t economically or morally viable in today’s world, and our generation has the determination and audacity to lead the fight to leave the fossil fuel industry where it belongs: in the past. We will continue to fight for people’s rights, health, and happiness, by resisting Keystone and all other new oil pipelines, and building the just, clean energy economy we deserve.”
Stephen Kretzmann, Executive Director, Oil Change International, said, “Keystone XL has been seen as inevitable before, but nevertheless, we persisted. This isn’t game over, it’s game on. Now we have a President who is deeply beholden to the oil industry and will do anything they ask, so this approval is no surprise. This is a pipeline that was designed for an oil market that no longer exists, that will go through lands where people have never wanted it.
“Donald Trump likes to talk a big game when it comes to laying pipe, but landowners, native nations, and climate activists aren’t going to let him get away with groping America. Put your tiny hands in the air, Trump, and back away from the climate.“
Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director, CREDO Action, said, “The Trump administration just put the interests of a foreign oil pipeline company ahead of the well-being of the American people. But the Keystone XL pipeline has been declared a done deal time and time again only to be stopped by fierce grassroots activism. We will continue working to stop Keystone XL in the streets and in the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which has yet to issue a key permit the pipeline needs to move forward. Attempting to expedite the approval of this foreign oil pipeline is just the latest example of Donald Trump putting corporate interests first with disastrous consequences for the American people.”
Kierán Suckling, Executive Director, the Center for Biological Diversity, said, “The Keystone XL pipeline is a disaster for people, wildlife and the planet. The Trump administration is taking us dangerously off course by approving this dirty, dangerous pipeline. We don’t have four years to wait to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and avoid a climate catastrophe.”
There is still no legal route for the pipeline through Nebraska. While TransCanada has applied for a state permit, a decision may take up to 12 months and the permit may be denied. After that, TransCanada must rely on eminent domain to take private lands along the route.
Further, federal statutes governing environmental review, clean water protection and consultation with tribal nations will be violated – resulting in a diverse and determined opposition movement against the KXL Pipeline and elected officials who have favored the fossil fuel agency over workers and citizens.
Finally, since the original proposal, the market conditions for the KXL have drastically deteriorated, as has public support. The pipeline will not use U.S. steel or carry U.S. oil and over half of the products carried by KXL are likely to be exported.