Endangered species scored a win against the Keystone XL pipeline on April 15th when a federal judged tossed out a permit that the pipeline would need in order to cross hundreds of waterways — rivers and streams. This is one more, out of many, setbacks for this project that would put fossil fuels above the lives of already endangered species as well as humans.
The pipeline, if finished, will be 1,200 miles long. Obama already canceled it twice, and we all thought that was a final win, until Trump decided to bring it back to life, showing just how much he prefers money over keeping our environment and our lives safe.
Today, following a lawsuit by @BoldNebraska, @CenterForBioDiv, @Friends_Earth, @norplains, @SierraClub & @NRDC a judge invalidated a key permit for the #KeystoneXL pipeline. The work is not over, but we’ll keep fighting to stop this dirty pipeline! https://t.co/TOwDPL4JyQ
— NRDC 🌎🏡 (@NRDC) April 16, 2020
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris discovered that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t even think to take into consideration how a 2017 water crossing permit would affect endangered species. So he ruled in favor of groups such as the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) which brought the original suit challenging the permit last year.
“The court has rightfully ruled against the Trump administration’s efforts to fast track this nasty pipeline at any cost. We won’t allow fossil fuel corporations and backdoor politicians to violate the laws that protect the people and the planet,” Tamara Toles O’Laughlin of 350.org told The Guardian.
The route from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, has hundreds of these river crossings, and the last thing anyone needs is 35 million gallons of crude oil spilling into our waterways.
Another issue is that, despite many shelter-in-place orders, TC Energy plans to build construction camps that would house up to 1,000 workers, which would put rural communities and Native American tribes at risk of catching COVID-19, not the mention the workers. There could be as many as 11 of these camps. That would be 11,000 workers putting these communities at an even higher risk than they already are. These communities already struggle to provide basic healthcare services.
Is this the end of the line for the Keystone XL? No, we will surely see the fossil fuel companies behind it continue to try to push it forward. We’ll report on any notable news as it comes in.