March 31, 2020 responds to announcement that TC Energy will proceed with Keystone XL pipeline

Faith Spotted Eagle (right), members and supporters of Brave Heart Society and the Yankton Sioux Tribe inside a solar-equipped tiny house built to take on tour of proposed KXL “man camp” locations to raise awareness about MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women). The tour has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus emergency. (Photographer: Jen Cohen)


Washington, DC & Edmonton, Alberta — In response to the announcement that TC Energy will proceed with the Keystone XL pipeline, with a US$1.1 billion “strategic investment” from the Alberta government, calls on the protection of local communities and the respect of Indigenous peoples’ rights and sovereignty.

In response, North America Director Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, said:

“Shame on TC Energy and the U.S. and Canadian governments who enabled them to use this global health crisis as an excuse to prop up their pipeline boondoggle. TC Energy is leveraging this crisis as an opportunity to extend the life of unsustainable fossil fuels and ignore the people’s demand to invest in our future. With no irony, TC Energy is literally being bailed out at the expense of the health and safety. Indigenous people and rural communities along the KXL route are already extremely vulnerable. We reject fossil fuel industry use of a moment of fragility to make ill timed investment in a project doomed to failure.

“Instead of giving another billion to companies fueling climate disaster and weakening our health and opportunity to build a new economy, governments should be fighting for the people they represent. With many lessons to be learned from this global pandemic, now is the time to stop investing in the construction of pipelines. There is no return to ‘business as usual’ and the prioritization of polluters over people is unacceptable. With our lives at risk, governments must put people first and listen to the science. Companies like TC Energy must be made to pay for the necessary care and repair needed for a just transition to a renewable energy economy, not given corporate welfare to continue polluting.

“For over a decade, Indigenous Nations, ranchers, and everyday people have fought to beat this project back, reminding the world that Big Oil isn’t invincible, and we will continue to do just that. We will follow the leadership of Indigenous Nations who have led this fight and  prioritize their self-determination and vision as we work to re-appropriate the corrupt earnings of extraction.

“We must stop Keystone XL and once and for all diminish the industry’s ability to expand, while ignoring the costs to people and the planet. This moment will determine our livelihood, health and the status of our climate. At the height of this global pandemic, we demand a halt to the expansion of fossil fuel projects and furthermore demand corporate accountability from companies like TC Energy.”

Emma Jackson, Canadian Field Organizer for added, 

“Two days ago, the Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney laid off 25,000 education workers, and yet he’s throwing billions of dollars into a pipeline that violates Indigenous rights, adds to an epidemic of violence against Missing Murdered Indigenous Women, defies climate science and puts land and water from Alberta to the Gulf Coast at risk. We’re in the midst of a crisis, and using that to push a pipeline is shameful, especially when so many Albertans are in need. What we need is an economic transformation, a Green New Deal for Alberta, not another pipeline.”


Press Contacts: 

Thanu Yakupitiyage, U.S. Communications, [email protected]

Nathalia Clark, Global Communications, [email protected]