“Yet Again, Federal Court Invalidates Key Permit for Keystone XL”

Image Source: https://nokxlpromise.org/
Artist unknown

Wow! A glimmer of hope! A federal judge just ruled that “the US Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it approved Nationwide Permit 12, a key water crossing permit for TC Energy’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and many other pipelines nationwide. The ruling invalidates Nationwide Permit 12, prohibiting the Corps from using this fast-tracked approval process for any pipelines nationwide, including Keystone XL. The ruling could block construction through hundreds of water crossings along the Keystone XL pipeline route.” (Source: Sierra Club Press Release – posted in full below).

TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is currently building the segment of KXL that crosses the US-Canada border and there will be a follow-up hearing today (4/16/20) about whether construction should be halted.

If you feel so inclined, please watch the video and sign the petition below, and light a candle/ join me in prayer that all pipeline staging and construction does in fact get halted ASAP:

Cancel KXL: Halt All Keystone XL Construction Due to Coronavirus Public Health Emergency

For the health and safety of workers, and residents of ill-equipped rural and Tribal communities along the route of TC Energy (TransCanada’s) proposed Keystone XL pipeline, all “pre-construction” activity should be immediately halted in the face of the public health threat from the novel coronavirus.

TC Energy must cancel all plans to move forward on construction, and in particular halt at once the establishment of any “man camps” that would bring thousands of out-of-state workers into rural communities, where rural hospitals and under-funded Indian Health Services cannot be expected to be burdened with any additional strain on their already limited capacity to provide care to those infected by the coronavirus. Man camps also generally bring into communities increased crime and sexual violence — especially targeting Indigenous women.

A national emergency has been called. A growing number of cities and companies are cancelling construction projects. We call on TC Energy to immediately halt all activity and cancel its planned construction on the Keystone XL pipeline project, as well as provide ongoing unemployment aid for all their potentially affected workers.

Sign the petition

[RE-BLOGGED] SIERRA CLUB PRESS RELEASE

Yet Again, Federal Court Invalidates Key Permit for Keystone XL

Court blocks the use of Nationwide Permit 12 for pipeline water crossings
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Contact: 

Gabby Brown, Sierra Club, 914-261-4626, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org

Jared Margolis, Center for Biological Diversity, (802) 310-4054,jmargolis@biologicaldiversity.org

Josh Mogerman, NRDC, (773) 531-5359, jmogerman@NRDC.org

Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance, (323) 972-5192, mark@boldalliance.org

Dustin Ogdin, Northern Plains Resource Council, (615) 522-2335, dustin@northernplains.org

Great Falls, MT — A federal judge ruled today that the US Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it approved Nationwide Permit 12, a key water crossing permit for TC Energy’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and many other pipelines nationwide. The ruling invalidates Nationwide Permit 12, prohibiting the Corps from using this fast-tracked approval process for any pipelines nationwide, including Keystone XL. The ruling could block construction through hundreds of water crossings along the Keystone XL pipeline route.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by conservation and landowner groups last year, which challenged the Corps’ failure to adequately analyze the effects of pipelines authorized under Nationwide Permit 12, including Keystone XL, on local waterways, lands, wildlife, and communities.

The Keystone XL pipeline is also facing ongoing legal challenges from Indigenous groups and Tribes, who have challenged President Trump’s attempt to unilaterally approve the cross-border segment of the pipeline. Construction on that cross-border segment began last week, and the court will conduct a hearing tomorrow on whether to block construction on that segment as well. Meanwhile, Montanans are also urging Governor Steve Bullock to put a hold on construction amid the COVID-19 public health crisis.

“The Trump administration has repeatedly violated the law in their relentless pursuit of seeing this dirty tar sands pipeline built. Today’s ruling confirms, once again, that there’s just no getting around the fact that Keystone XL would devastate communities, wildlife, and clean drinking water,” said Sierra Club Senior Attorney Doug Hayes. “It was true a decade ago, and it’s just as true today: Keystone XL would be a bad deal for the American people and should never be built.”

“This is a tremendous victory for imperiled wildlife that rely on rivers, streams and wetlands,” said Jared Margolis, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This ruling makes it clear that the Trump administration can’t continue to push dirty fossil fuel pipelines while ignoring the devastating impacts they have on the environment.”

“This ruling proves, once again, that we are a nation of laws no matter how many times powerful forces seek to undermine bedrock American legal protections,” said Dena Hoff, a Northern Plains Resource Council member and Glendive, Montana farmer. “Given this new development, it’s imperative that all construction be halted to protect Montana’s rural and tribal communities during this pandemic. How, in good conscience, could we risk overwhelming our most vulnerable health care systems for a Canadian project that has never proven to be legally viable?”

“The Trump Administration has gone out of their way to repeatedly and unlawfully ram through permits for this destructive pipeline,” said Marcie Keever, legal director with Friends of the Earth. “Keystone XL and other proposed fossil fuel pipelines would devastate frontline communities and wreak havoc on our environment. Today’s ruling sends a clear signal nationwide that people and the planet must come before profits for polluting corporations.”

“Farmers and ranchers rely on clean water and land security. TransCanada continues their efforts to go around the law in order to build their risky pipeline,” said Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance Founder. “Hopefully this clear directive from the courts will make it clear TransCanada and our own federal government can not run roughshod over Americans to help out a corporation’s shareholders.”

“The Trump Administration’s ongoing effort to give out goodies to Big Oil hit another setback. Whether they like it or not, the Corps cannot skirt foundational environmental laws. And projects like the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will remain stalled as long as the Administration keeps trying to illegally fast-track them,” said Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) attorney Cecilia Segal.

 

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.

Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp
Aly Tharp is the program director at the UU Ministry for Earth and has been with UUMFE since 2014, initially serving as the network coordinator for the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice. Aly lives in Austin, Texas, and in their free time is an arts-activist and community organizer supporting a local food forest on public parkland and Gulf South climate justice movements.