As I listened to TransCanada’s investor call last week, I hoped they would finally announce a decision to abandon Keystone XL for good. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
Instead, they continued with their smoke and mirrors, touting the “strong commercial support” for KXL, saying they’ve “commenced construction planning.” We know the truth they’re hiding from their investors – this pipeline is far from a done deal.
TransCanada said, “We want to position ourselves to be able to commence construction in 2019.” A delay is good news. But what does it mean for us on the ground in South Dakota and Nebraska, Native and non-Native, and the allies like you who’ve committed to join us if the time comes?
Here’s what it means and what we know:
- We are winning major delays. The moral and legal challenges to Keystone XL are strong, and are delaying TransCanada’s plans. Just yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the Trump administration must turn over all relevant documents on the decision to approve the ‘presidential permit’ for Keystone XL.1
We’ll keep building momentum by encouraging people to join the Promise to Protect, putting pressure on TransCanada to abandon the project altogether, and we will continue to fight in court.
- We must follow the lead of the Native leadership in South Dakota and Nebraska to skill up. There’s still a lot we need to do to prepare should TransCanada move forward with construction. We’ll be rolling out Indigenized online trainings to prepare non-Native allies to show up in a good way on Indigenous lands. Also, we’re developing an in-person Native-led training program to support promise-signers across the country in learning peaceful, Native-rooted resistance practices. We will be calling on you to host these trainings in your area.
- We have to act now. Lastly, we know Standing Rock is everywhere! There are other places threatened by pipelines and fossil fuel projects that need people like you who are willing to step up in solidarity. Depending on where you live, we’ll be sharing opportunities to get involved in frontline-led fights to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The Native leaders, farmers and ranchers on the ground appreciate you sticking with us and we know that you’re a key part of this fight. We’ll continue to share relevant updates from the ground and keep you informed as plans develop.
All of us in the Promise to Protect Alliance will be meeting together early next month to discuss next steps, including our ongoing efforts to build renewable energy solutions in the path of this Black Snake, and we’ll be sharing an update at that time.
We need everyone’s support to protect tribal sovereignty, to defend our inherent moral and legal responsibility as protectors of water, land and air for all, and to fight for climate justice in the face of Keystone XL and the Trump administration’s fossil fuel agenda. Thank you for your commitment.
Judith LeBlanc (Caddo Nation)
Director, Native Organizer Alliance
Video: TransCanada’s Dirty Secret