TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 03, 2015
THE BLOG OF THE RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK

This Is Getting Ridiculous. Obama, Stop The Delay and Reject KXL Now!

This is getting ridiculous.

The ongoing saga of Keystone took another twist yesterday as Canadian oil giant TransCanada attempted to weasel their way out of an outright rejection of the pipeline before Obama’s term ends in January 2017.

It all began yesterday when two announcements were made.

The first one was by the White House saying they'd make a decision on Keystone XL by the end of Obama's presidency. (Lame. But not surprising with how much the administration tries to avoid this issue.)

Then a little later in the day, Canadian oil company TransCanada put out a statement (complete with a meme of CEO Russ Girling) saying they were requesting a delay on the company's permit application for Keystone XL. The company's spokespeople cite the ongoing legal issues around the Nebraska route of the pipeline as an excuse to “pause” the application process.

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This created a media whirlwind and rapid responses from environmental and climate groups that have fought Keystone XL for many years.

The top bullet points on Keystone XL moving forward:

  1. Our people powered organizing and pressure on TransCanada, the pipeline, Obama, etc. has moved this issue and put Big Oil on the defensive.
  2. TransCanada is desperate and trying to game out the process until a friendlier regime is in the White House. Or at least one that is less susceptible to our pressure campaigns. This is a purely political move; it has absolutely nothing to do with the process or pipeline routes in Nebraska.
  3. TransCanada wants to avoid an outright rejection.  So, we hold steadfast in our demand for that rejection.

Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said:

“We see this as a last ditch effort for the TransCanada corporation to avoid a rejection of its presidential permit application and is a clear stall strategy that hopes for a supportive President from the 2016 elections.

This dirty tar sands pipeline has met immense organized resistance from the Dene and Cree First Nations and the Métis community at its source, through the traditional lands and territories of the Oceti Sakowin, also known as the Great Sioux Nation, and from the Ponca people of the southern Great Plains. The mobilization of Tribal nations and the Native grassroots and youth, coupled with alliances with non-native landowners, helped the fight against Keystone XL pipeline become the marquee fight for the US climate justice movement.

Tribal Nations of the Oceti Sakowin have reiterated their opposition to the KXL pipeline in defense of their ancestral homelands, including but not limited to the territory of the Great Sioux Nation, as recognized in the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868. Standing in solidarity with tribal governments and traditional treaty councils of the Oceti Sakowin, we ask the State Department to refuse TransCanada’s request to delay this application and ask President Obama to take the opportunity to reject this pipeline once and for all!”

RAN’s Lindsey Allen said:

"Sustained grassroots opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has put TransCanada on the run. This last ditch effort to delay an already tortuously long process is a thinly veiled attempt to push this decision beyond President Obama’s term in office. Regardless of its precise route through Nebraska, Obama has long had clear reason to reject this misguided project for its disastrous impact on the global climate and local communities. KXL isn’t about TransCanada. It’s about the President’s climate legacy. It is urgently important that President Obama reject Keystone XL without further delay."

Bill McKibben said:

“Clearly TransCanada has lost and they recognize that. It’s one of the great victories for this movement in decades. In defeat, TransCanada is asking for extra time from the referees, and clearly hoping they’ll get a new head official after the election. It’s time for the current umpire, President Obama, to reject this project once and for all, and go to Paris as the first world leader to stop a major project because of its effect on the climate.”

Jane Kleeb of BOLD Nebraska said:

“The route in Nebraska has been uncertain for years, the only difference now is TransCanada knows they are about to have their permit rejected so they are scrambling. President Obama can end all of this uncertainty with a stroke a pen. It is time to reject and give farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations peace of mind that their land and water is protected from this risky pipeline.”

This morning, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling stated to shareholders on the company’s third quarter earnings call that the pause is their best route to eventual Keystone XL approval.

And finally this morning, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest called TransCanada’s request “unusual.”

Please SHARE this link and stay tuned, because like Yogi Berra said “it ain’t over till it’s over.”

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