Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Indigenous and Green Groups Fighting Pipeline Urge 2020 Democrats to Take 'NoKXL Pledge'

Politics
Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally at Lafayette Park next to the White House in Washington, DC, on Jan. 24, 2017. SAUL LOEB / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous, environmental and landowner groups fighting to block the Keystone XL pipeline sent a letter Tuesday to the two dozen 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates, urging them to take the "NoKXL pledge" and vow — if elected — to revoke the Trump administration's permit for the tar sands oil project.


"There is no middle ground when it comes to protecting the land, water, and climate," Bold Nebraska founder Jane Kleeb said in a statement. "You either stand with family farmers, ranchers, Tribal Nations, and environmentalists — or you stand with fossil fuel corporations who are abusing eminent domain, and trampling on the treaty rights of Tribal Nations."

"Tribal Nations and communities are battling for the survival of our ecosystems and ways of life, and we need a president who will stand with us against Big Oil and the fossil fuel regime," said Dallas Goldtooth, a Keep It in the Ground campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network. "Signing the NOKXL pledge is a solid step in the right direction."

The three-point NoKXL pledge, featured on Bold Nebraska's website, states:

  • If elected, I pledge to take executive action on Day One to stop any construction on the Keystone XL pipeline — no matter what — and revoke the existing presidential permits issued unilaterally by President Trump for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, sending both projects back to relevant federal agencies to undergo legitimate environmental review and Tribal consultations.
  • I pledge to direct all federal agencies (State Dept., FERC, Army Corps) to submit these two projects, as well as all new pipeline and energy infrastructure projects to a true climate test, and reject permits for any project that would exacerbate our climate crisis.
  • I pledge to protect the property rights of farmers and ranchers from eminent domain abuse, and to honor the treaties the U.S. government has signed with sovereign Tribal Nations.

Natalie Mebane, associate director of U.S. Policy at 350 Action, called the pledge "a critical step in moving towards stopping all new fossil fuel projects and protecting communities already experiencing the devastation of fossil fuel disasters."

"To build systems that work for all of us, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground, prioritize Indigenous rights, workers, and frontline communities, and hold fossil fuel billionaires accountable for their destruction," Mebane added. "Together we've stopped the Keystone XL pipeline for over a decade. It's time all presidential candidates join us and commit to stopping KXL once and for all."

If constructed, the long-delayed pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily more than 1,000 miles from the Alberta tar sands, across Montana and South Dakota, to Nebraska. In a move that critics decried as a "ridiculous attempt" to skirt the law to benefit a fossil fuel company, President Donald Trump issued an "unprecedented and unilateral" executive memorandum in March, granting TransCanada — now known as TC Energy — a permit for the project.

"Our next president needs to listen to the science that says we can't build new fossil fuel projects and fight climate change at the same time, not the polluters who say we don't have a choice," Greenpeace USA climate campaigner Charlie Jiang said Tuesday. "Reversing Trump's misguided Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline authorizations on day one sends a clear message to the fossil fuel executives that their days of power over the White House are over."

Other groups co-sponsoring the pledge are the Bold Alliance, Nebraska Easement Action Team, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Sunrise Movement, CREDO, Oil Change U.S., Friends of the Earth Action, Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund, Climate Hawks Vote, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Progressive Democrats of America, NYC Grassroots Alliance, Earth Action, Bucks Environmental Network, Greenbelt Climate Action Network, Anthropocene Alliance, New York Climate Action Group, Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline, and Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Residents plant mangroves on the coast of West Aceh District in Indonesia on Feb. 21, 2020. Mangroves play a crucial role in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection from storms, waves and tidal erosion. Dekyon Eon / Opn Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.

Read More Show Less
UN World Oceans Day is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?

Read More Show Less
Cryptococcus yeasts (pictured), including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas

From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.

Read More Show Less
National Trails Day 2020 is now titled In Solidarity, AHS Suspends Promotion of National Trails Day 2020. The American Hiking Society is seeking to amplify Black voices in the outdoor community and advocate for equal access to the outdoors. Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This Saturday, June 6, marks National Trails Day, an annual celebration of the remarkable recreational, scenic and hiking trails that crisscross parks nationwide. The event, which started in 1993, honors the National Trail System and calls for volunteers to help with trail maintenance in parks across the country.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous people from the Parque das Tribos community mourn the death of Chief Messias of the Kokama tribe from Covid-19, in Manaus, Brazil, on May 14, 2020. MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP / Getty Images

By John Letzing

This past Wednesday, when some previously hard-hit countries were able to register daily COVID-19 infections in the single digits, the Navajo Nation – a 71,000 square-kilometer (27,000-square-mile) expanse of the western US – reported 54 new cases of what's referred to locally as "Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19."

Read More Show Less
World Environment Day was put into motion almost fifty years ago by the United Nations as a response to a multitude of environmental threats. RicardoImagen / Getty Images

It's a different kind of World Environment Day this year. In prior years, it might have been enough to plant a tree, spend some extra time in the garden, or teach kids the importance of recycling. This year we have heavier tasks at hand. It's been months since we've been able to spend sufficient time outside, and as we lustfully watch the beauty of a new spring through our kitchen's glass windows, we have to decide how we'll interact with the natural world on our release, and how we can prevent, or be equipped to handle, future threats against our wellbeing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Experts are worried that COVID-19, a primarily respiratory and airway disease, could have permanent effects on lungs, inhibiting the ability for divers to continue diving. Tiffany Duong / Ocean Rebels

Scuba divers around the world are holding their metaphorical breath to see if a coronavirus infection affects the ability to dive.

Read More Show Less