Quantcast

A New Chapter in the Fight against Keystone XL

Energy

350.org

By Jamie Henn

The latest attempts to revive the Keystone XL zombie were announced the afternoon of Feb. 27, and like previous resurrection efforts, this revival attempt will be met with fierce opposition.

In a press release, the Canadian pipeline company TransCanada said that it will move forward with construction of the southern half of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to Texas refineries and reapply for a cross-border permit for the northern half of the pipeline from the Alberta tar sands down to the mid-west.

“Transcanada's decision to build its pipe from Oklahoma to Texas is a nifty excuse to steal some land by eminent domain. It doesn't increase tar sands mining because there's still no pipe across the Canadian border, but it's the usual ugly power grab and land grab by the fossil fuel industry—we'll do what we can to stand by our allies in that arid and beautiful land," said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

While TransCanada does not require a presidential permit for the southern half of the pipeline, it still must secure land along the proposed route. Since few people are eager for a pipeline carrying corrosive tar sands oil to run through their backyard, the company has resorted to using eminent domain to grab land away from property owners.

“I’m looking out my window every hour,” Julia Trigg Crawford, 53, of Lamar County, Texas told Talking Points Memo. “While they don’t have a permit to build anything, they have the right to start construction…. A foreign for profit pipeline was allowed to condemn my land without my being allowed to talk to a judge.”

Stories like Julia’s have inspired a grassroots rebellion against the company. The fight is creating some unique bedfellows—environmentalists, Tea Partiers, libertarians, ranchers, and more. And just as fights over land rights and local concerns have stalled the Northern Gateway pipeline that would run from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of British Columbia, it looks like TransCanada could be facing months, if not years, of local fights along its proposed route.

As for the northern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada is also facing a difficult route to approval.

“Transcanada's second decision, to reapply for a permit to bring tar sands oil across the border, puts us back where we were this time last year,” explained Bill McKibben. “Since their first application was outright rejected, this one will have to start all over again—the White House has made clear for months that it will be 2013 at the earliest before any decision is reached. If this time the process proceeds without influence-buying at the State department, and if the administration honors its promise to fully evaluate climate impacts, that permit will never be granted. Those, of course, are big ifs.”

Which is why we have to keep the pressure up over the coming months. In this case, the best defense against the Keystone XL zombie is going to be a good offense. Instead of spending the next 12 months fighting over a single pipeline, we want to expand our grassroots battle against the fossil fuel industry in a number of important directions. First, we’re going to take up new iconic fights, supporting efforts to stop everything from a fracking to coal export terminals. Second, we’re going to blow the whistle on the dirty money that’s corrupting our political system, turning up the heat on every politician in America, from presidential candidates to members of Congress, and demanding that they side with the people, not the polluters. And third, we’re going to go after the billions in subsidies the fossil fuel industry receives each year. Ending these taxpayer handouts will help stop projects like Keystone XL by leveling the playing field for renewable energies to beat fossil fuels.

As Bill wrote last week, Keystone XL is just the beginning.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An Exxon station in Florida remains open despite losing its roof during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Florida Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers

The country's largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
El Niño's effect on Antarctica is seen in a tabular iceberg off of Thwaites ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck / NASA

El Niños are getting stronger due to climate change, according to a new study in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Julia Ries

  • Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
  • Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.

Read More Show Less
Pexels


There are hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S., but not everyone has had the chance to hike in a national forest or picnic in a state park.

Read More Show Less
Workers attend to a rooftop solar panel project on May 14, 2017 in Wuhan, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Simon Evans

Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world's coal-fired power stations for the first time ever.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Firefighters work during a wildfire threatening nearby hillside homes in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood on Oct. 21 in Los Angeles. The fire scorched at least 30 acres and prompted mandatory evacuations. Mario Tama / Getty Images

A wildfire that broke out Monday near Los Angeles' wealthy Pacific Palisades area threatened around 200 homes and injured two people, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Justin Trudeau gives a speech following a victory in his Quebec riding of Papineau on Oct. 22. CBC News / YouTube screenshot

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will remain in office after a federal election Monday in which the climate crisis played a larger role than ever before.

Read More Show Less
Mike Mozart / Flicker / CC BY 2.0

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder on Friday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found trace amounts of asbestos in one of its bottles.

Read More Show Less