Last weekend TransCanada’s permit for Keystone XL in South Dakota expired. They now no longer have a permit to build in 2 states — Nebraska, and South Dakota.
The South Dakota permit was issued way back in 2010 when Keystone XL was supposedly a done deal, and 4 years was thought to be plenty of time to build the pipeline. Since then, a historic national alliance of farmers, ranchers, tribal leaders and climate activists have stopped Keystone XL in its tracks, and as of today the pipeline is stopped for at least another calendar year, if not forever.
As the permit expired, the Cowboy Indian Alliance hosted a cookout along the pipeline route to celebrate yet another setback for Keystone. I hope you take a little bit of time to celebrate the progress we’ve made together as well — you’ve certainly earned it.
We can’t be sitting on our laurels, however. In the coming months, we need to press our advantage and confront Big Oil and the tar sands in every way possible. Here is some of what’s on deck:
Stopping the Alberta Clipper pipeline expansion:
Last summer, President Obama said he would reject Keystone XL if it contributed to climate change. The company Enbridge wants to expand its Alberta Clipper tar sands pipeline, which runs from the northern border of Minnesota to Wisconsin, but they need President Obama’s sign off — and we’ll be organizing to make sure he applies the same climate standard to Clipper as well. The reason is simple: at this late hour, any project that contributes to climate change needs to be stopped, and it’s up to the President to lead the way.
Supporting Canada’s tar sands uprising:
Canadians are mobilizing against a huge number tar sands projects — from First Nations who have put up a legal wall of opposition to western pipelines, to the Eastern provinces where folks are getting together to fight the largest tar sands proposal ever, the Energy East pipeline, to a growing divestment movement takes aim at institutions bankrolling tar sands, to the heart of the destruction in Alberta where lawsuits and other actions are underway. We’ll need to keep showing our support for these tar sands fighters as they bring resistance to the industry’s back yard.
Defending communities from oil by rail:
Oil by rail shipments have been literally and figuratively exploding. While still just a trickle compared to the tar sands gusher of Keystone XL, oil by rail is expanding to communities across the US, meaning more derailments, spills and explosions. We’re gearing up for actions to confront big oil’s reckless dash for oil with a week of action in impacted communities starting July 6, with more to come after that.
All of this will help gather momentum for the Peoples Climate March, the biggest climate march in history, which will be on September 21st in New York City. That’s when we’ll be charting a course for our world leaders by showing them the huge number of people in this country and across the globe who stand for a safe climate future — which (it shouldn’t need to be said) is also a future without tar sands development.
Whether it’s continued birddogging to stop Keystone XL, fighting refineries or clearing out petcoke yards, our movement is demonstrating to this rogue industry that wherever they show up we’re ready to take them on and shut them down.
Many thanks again — you’re doing truly historic and necessary work, and I am very grateful to be a part of it.