2 april 2017

Despite Trump's OK, the Keystone Pipeline Is Far From a Done Deal

By Bill McKibben, The Los Angeles Times (via Reader Supported News), 2 April 2017

It’s been almost exactly six years since the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline went national, with climate scientists and environmental activists joining Native Americans and Nebraska ranchers who’d begun the battle against transporting tar sands from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast. The fight tipped into victory in late 2015 when President Obama and his State Department rejected the pipeline on the grounds it didn’t advance U.S. interests. Last week, President Trump reversed that decision. It was his most specific climate move so far, though the executive order issued this week — essentially an attempt to end government action on climate change — will doubtless yield more such rulings down the road.

In between pretending to drive a big truck and losing on healthcare, Trump, signed a permit Friday giving TransCanada Corp. the right to cross the American border with its pipe. As he showed off the order (against the now-familiar backdrop of many white guys in ties), he turned to the company’s CEO and said, “When does construction start?”

The answer is, no time soon.

The immediate problem for Trump and TransCanada is that there’s no approved route for the pipeline through Nebraska, where organizers and citizens are hunkering down again for spirited resistance. Dozens of landowners along the route are refusing to let their land be taken, and the state’s public utility commission hasn’t granted a permit.

The deeper problem is that an awful lot has changed over the six years since Keystone became a national cause.


>>> Back to list