Media

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2018
Contact: Dani Heffernan, dani@nokxlpromise.org,  +1 (305) 992-1544

Federal Judge Throws Out Trump’s ‘Presidential Permit’ for Keystone XL Pipeline

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled to vacate the crossborder permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, ordering TransCanada to cease all pre-construction for the project. The ruling states that the dismissal of President Obama’s previous decision against the Keystone XL pipeline by the Trump administration was unfounded, and that a new environmental review is required. Since Trump first issued a ‘Presidential permit’ for the pipeline and Nebraska commissioners granted a statewide permit for an alternate route, several lawsuits have been filed in opposition by Indigenous leaders, rural landowners, and environmental organizations. Additionally, more than 17,000 people have pledged to take future action along the Keystone XL pipeline route if construction begins.

QUOTES:

Faith Spotted Eagle, member of the Yankton Sioux Nation and Brave Heart Society:

“Heartfelt thanks for the thousands of prayers in the last 11 years that traveled to Montana to bring good news to stop Keystone XL pipeline construction. I heard the news sitting at the site where our powerful alliance signed the International Treaty Against KXL Pipeline and Tarsands, and that is no accident. We sleep well tonight and tomorrow we continue to keep our guard up, working stronger as good relatives until Keystone XL vanishes, and it will.”

Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member and Indigenous Environmental Network community organizer:

“This is the best news we could have gotten today. To have the judge affirm that what Trump did was illegal and that this pipeline would affect climate change and destroy cultural sites of my people, and that water, our first medicine, is threatened. It’s not over yet, but we are a step closer to stopping this zombie pipeline.”

Judith Le Blanc (Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma), Director, Native Organizers Alliance:

“This court decision affirms science-based decision making as the proper way to make public policy. As caretakers of Mother Earth, Native communities are organizing alternatives to fossil fuels because the future of the planet depends on it. We applaud the decision and recommit to promoting a fossil-free future.”

Lewis Grassrope, Wiconi un Tipi Camp in Lower Brule, South Dakota:

“Through our prayers we stood for the greater good of our people. Today one of those prayers has been answered with this decision on Keystone XL, but we must still stay the course to keep our people safe from any atrocious acts that affect our lives and livelihoods.”

John Harter, a South Dakota Landowner potentially crossed by the pipeline and Chair of Dakota Rural Action:

“We’re pleased and surprised by this decision. It’s nice to have a federal judge agree with the common sense analysis we’ve done. Basically you just can’t reverse a decision based on environmental and scientific facts just because you feel like it. We’re incredibly thankful for our Sister organization in Montana, the Northern Plains Resource Council, for taking an active role in this case. We are also thankful for the strong allies we’ve built in South Dakota with Tribes and Native Grassroots leaders. There hard work and dedication made this possible. Finally we are thankful for those national allies like 350.org who were willing to work with the grassroots and often defer to the wisdom found locally.”

May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director:

“This momentous ruling is a major victory that sends the Trump administration and TransCanada back to the drawing board on Keystone XL. For over a decade, Indigenous peoples, farmers and ranchers, and their allies around the world have been fighting to stop this pipeline. Despite every obstacle thrown our way, the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground has kept Keystone XL from being built. This latest decision confirms what we’ve known all along — that Trump’s ‘Presidential Permit’ and environmental review process were a sham. Big Oil may have the money to push policy and politicians in favor of their profits, but we have morality, science, and common sense on our side. From the plains of Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota to Capitol Hill, we won’t stop until Keystone XL is gone forever.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2017

Contact:

Dani Heffernan, dani@nokxlpromise.org, +1 (305) 992-1544
Judith LeBlanc, judithleblanc1@gmail.com, +1 (917) 806-8775

Pipeline Fighters Call for Future Commitment to Resist Along Keystone XL Route

The ‘Promise to Protect’, endorsed by dozens of groups, activists and celebrities, urges all who can to sign up for future mass resistance along the pipeline route

Lower Brule, SD — In response to today’s decision by the Nebraska Public Service Commission opening the door for construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, Indigenous peoples, farmers and ranchers living along the pipeline route, with the larger climate movement behind them, are calling for peaceful resistance against the project. The decision comes only days after more than 200,000 gallons spilled from the first Keystone pipeline in South Dakota.

A letter published today outlines the “Promise to Protect,” which urges everyone who can to commit to join peaceful creative resistance along the pipeline route when the call is put out by leaders on the ground. Indigenous peoples, farmers, ranchers, and local and national organizations are leading the charge in this renewed fight against Keystone XL. Dozens of grassroots leaders, organizations, and celebrities are endorsing the call to action. This letter was released alongside a treaty signed by Native leaders, tribal council members, rural landowners, non-Native supporters and allies in a shared commitment to stop the expansion of the Canadian tar sands.

Endorsers of the “Promise to Protect” include:

Dave Flute, Chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe

Morgan LittleSun, Kitkahaki Chief of the Pawnee Nation

Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

Faith Spotted Eagle, a member of the Yankton Sioux Nation and the Brave Heart Society

Joye Braun of the Wakpa Waste Camp in Cheyenne River

Lewis Grassrope of the Wiconi un Tipi Camp in Lower Brule

Judith LeBlanc, with the Native Organizers Alliance

Dallas Goldtooth with the Indigenous Environmental Network

Thomas Tonatiuh Lopez Jr., International Indigenous Youth Council

Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, Organizer Indigenous Peoples Power Project

Mark Ruffalo, climate advocate and actor

Naomi Klein, author and activist

Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. from the Hip Hop Caucus

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director at CREDO

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA

and many more.

The fight against Keystone XL reignited in the first week of Trump’s presidency, when the president announced plans to reopen negotiations with TransCanada — the company behind the project — as part of his pro-fossil fuel agenda. In March, the Trump administration approved a Presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, the same permit rejected by President Obama in 2015. Obama’s decision, in which he cited climate as his reason for rejecting Keystone XL, followed a years-long campaign against the project that included sit-ins at the White House, tens of thousands joining days of action, and millions of people engaging in this fight across the world.

The “Promise to Protect” will build on years of fierce resistance along the Keystone XL route and across the nation. Just this August, hundreds of people, including farmers and Indigenous leaders from across the midwest, marched in Nebraska ahead of the Public Service Commission (PSC) hearings on whether to grant TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, their final construction permit. Hundreds of thousands of written comments against Keystone XL were delivered to the PSC at that time. Beginning this past summer, pipeline fighters launched the “Solar XL” campaign to build solar arrays, a clean and renewable energy solution to climate change, directly in the route of Keystone XL.

With today’s decision, pipeline fighters will continue fighting against TransCanada’s disregard for the rights of Indigenous peoples, farmers, and ranchers in court and in the streets. Nebraskans will challenge the decision, and at the same time, new efforts have launched in Canada to shut down the tar sands mine that would feed the Keystone XL pipeline. The fight against Keystone XL is about the choice to continue to build dirty fossil fuel projects or invest in communities and the solutions needed to address the climate crisis.

Further information about the “Promise to Protect” and the many ways to get involved can be found at www.nokxlpromise.org.



Quote Sheet:

Faith Spotted Eagle, member of the Yankton Sioux Nation:

“Nothing has changed at all in our defense of land, air and water of the Oceti Sakowin Lands. If anything, it has become more focused, stronger and more adamant after Standing Rock. It’s clear that the Trump administration, through its dirty energy policies, is intent on destroying our homelands with no regard to any group; we are all seen as dispensable, taxable, and voiceless. Native and non-Natives are rising up for now, for the future and certainly for the coming elections.”

Joye Braun, leader of the Wakpa Waste Camp at the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota:

“We are excited to join in the Promise to Protect. This promise is a pledge that we will rise to protect the sacred — the water, land, and people that would be affected by this black snake that’s threatening the most vulnerable. How that looks is going depend on capacity and be inline with the frontline communities most impacted. For us, this is my home, literally my home, my children, and my grandchildren, that will be affected.”

Arvol Looking Horse, Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe:

“Crazy Horse prophesized that all people would unite under the Sacred Tree of Life-it’s time all people Unite on Turtle island for all our Mni Wiconi waterways pouring down from the North through the Mississippi River into the Gulf. We work to stop this desecration. Our waterways are our Sacred Tree of Life.”

Dave Flute, Chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe:

“I am highly disappointed that our neighboring state of Nebraska voted to continue with the KXL pipeline. I hope our sister state of Nebraska can see what the Keystone TransCanada pipeline will bring to their communities. In Northeast, South Dakota, we have experienced a large leak of oil. INitial reports are that it was over 200,000 gallons. Now, we are hearing it is upward towards 500,000 gallons. This leak is detrimental to our environment. TransCanada has made promises and assurances to the tribes and states that this pipeline would be state of the art. We were told the probability of a spill and/or leak would be highly unlikely, yet here we are just a few short years after this pipeline was constructed. We are experiencing a massive leak.”

Morgan LittleSun, Kitkahaki Chief of the Pawnee Nation:

“I believe there’s still hope. I came up here to represent the Pawnee Nation. I’m sad to hear that it was voted the way it was, but there’s still hope. We came here to pray and support. There’s still faith it will be rejected. Our prayers are going to continue to be with the people. We’re here to do what we can to support the people and fight the pipeline. That’s why we’re here. We’re ready for battle.”

Thomas Tonatiuh Lopez Jr., International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC):

“The decision to permit the Keystone XL Pipeline comes to no surprise to us.  A year ago the IIYC was founded and vowed to protect all land, water and treaty rights.  Through prayer and non-violent direct action to the IIYC stands behind our elders, clan mothers and chiefs to ensure the safety of the next seven generations.  Indigenous youth around the world have united and will continue to be the change we expect to see in the world.”

Lewis Grassrope, KXL veteran and leader of the Wiconi un Tipi Camp at the Lower Brule Reservation in South Dakota:

“We the oyate of Wiconi un Tipi  Camp have put up camp in kul wicasa oyate to continue living and protecting this way of life for all. Where we choose to live, we choose life! We are here to continue to restore balance and save mother earth from any atrocious acts against her. To be good relatives and stand in unity with all creation for the betterment of the generations to come.”

Dallas Goldtooth, Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network:

“We are facing some challenging times in our struggle to protect the sacred integrity of mother earth, but we remain committed to peaceful action. The Promise is a part of that commitment. We call on our allies to join this promise, plan to take action and stand with us, if called upon. Water is life and we, it’s protectors, will rise to the occasion as needed.”

Judith LeBlanc, Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma, Executive Director of Native Organizers Alliance:

“For Native peoples, to be a good relative means that we stand together. We understand that the past and the future come together in the present whenever we all, Native and non-Native, stand together. Native Organizers Alliance will put our heart into all that our relatives in Nebraska and South Dakota ask of us to prevent the KXL Pipeline from ever being built. Leading with love of the land, love of community and love for the planet will be the power needed to win.”

Nick Tilsen, Oglala Lakota, Organizer Indigenous Peoples Power Project:

“We support the continued resistance of the KXL and all Tar Sands pipelines through Indigenous Lands. We ask for our allies to support the self-determination of Indigenous peoples. We believe in a wide variety of tactics including the use of non-violent direct action. Our network of Indigenous Trainers will continue to train communities.”

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org:

“This is dark news, but we haven’t given up. For seven years now public pressure has kept 800,000 barrels a day of tar sands oil underground, and in the process helped spawn a worldwide fight against fossil fuel infrastructure. We will work with our colleagues in the upper Midwest on the next steps to defend their land and our climate.”

May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director:

“Today’s approval of Keystone XL is an outrage — even more so after Keystone 1 just leaked at least 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota — but it’s far from over. Indigenous peoples, farmers, ranchers, and their allies have been stopping this pipeline for years, and with our support, they’re ready to double down with renewed resolve. Fighting Keystone has always been about more than one pipeline; it’s been a tipping point for the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Obama’s rejection of Keystone XL was a historic blow to the fossil fuel industry, and it’s exactly why Trump championed this project from day one. To build the fossil free world we need, it will take everyone’s help to stop Keystone, and all fossil fuel projects, that threaten our communities and climate.”

Mark Ruffalo, climate advocate and actor:

“The Keystone XL pipeline permit was just approved in Nebraska. Pushed through by oil companies, Trump and people who have had their senses made dumb by money. Today the the cost of wind and solar is cheaper than oil and coal and nuclear. We will win, but we have to fight.”

Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA Executive Director:

“The climate can’t handle another tar sands pipeline. We won’t stand idly by while a new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, like the Keystone XL pipeline, threaten communities and puts drinking water at risk. TransCanada and the other companies trying to build new tar sands pipelines will continue to face a wall of resistance until each and every one of these projects is cancelled.”

Lydia D. Avila, Executive Director, Power Shift Network:

“The momentum to end the control of oil over our country is undeniable. Young people all over the world are standing up to Trump and his fossil fuel lackies- from the halls of COP23; to the courtrooms of Minnesota’s PUC, going head-to-head with Enbridge; to state capitals just this past Saturday, November 18th. Now, we promise to continue to stand with tribes, landowners, and other leaders in the #NoKXL fight until we win. And we will. It’s only a matter of time.”

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