South Dakota High Court Blocks Bid to Halt Keystone XL
The South Dakota Supreme Court disappointed an attempt by Native American tribes and state activists to block the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday, ruling that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear their appeal, The Associated Press reported.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Yankton Sioux Tribe and conservation and family agriculture group Dakota Rural Action had appealed a decision by a judge last year to uphold the Public Utilities Commission's decision to let the controversial pipeline cross the state.
Dakota Rural Action attorney Robin Martinez called the decision "disappointing" on Thursday but affirmed that "fight is not over," The Associated Press reported further.
Terry Cunha, the spokesperson for TransCanada Corp., the company behind the pipeline, told The Associated Press in an email that the company was pleased with the court's decision.
Its Keystone XL pipeline would transport as many as 830,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil daily through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where it would hook up with pipelines taking oil to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.
Activists thought they had defeated the pipeline when former president Barack Obama rejected it in 2015, partly over concerns about its contribution to climate change. But President Donald Trump resurrected it with an executive order days into his presidency. TransCanada now hopes to start construction in the beginning of 2019, according to The Associated Press.
The South Dakota appeal wasn't the only play made by pipeline opponents to block Trump's decision. Environmental groups have sued the administration over the decision to approve the pipeline, and Nebraska land owners have also sued over their state's Public Service Commission's decision to sign-off on the pipeline's proposed path, The Associated Press reported.
In an attempt to further frustrate the pipeline's progress, Nebraska land owners Art and Helen Tanderup signed over a 1.6 acre plot of their land to the Ponca Indian Tribe on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
The piece of land both sits on the pipeline's route and has been used by the tribe to plant sacred corn for the last five years.
"What the impact will be, I don't know," Tanderup told The Associated Press. "But now, they'll have a voice in this issue. They will be a player at the table."
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska attorney Brad Jolly told The Associated Press he was not sure if deeding the land to the tribe would provide a legal avenue to stop the pipeline. He said he was still focused on the ongoing Nebraska suit against the pipeline's approval.
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>