Keystone XL protesters want Biden to revoke more pipeline licenses


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Through Jennifer A. Dlouhy and Robert Tuttle at 06/13/2021

Keystone XL pipeline, during the construction phase

WASHINGTON and CALGARY (Bloomberg) – Environmentalists emboldened by Keystone XL’s defeat this week are pressuring President Joe Biden to revoke licenses for other oil and gas pipelines, warning their votes depend on the administration’s blockage fossil fuel infrastructure.

“If you need and want us, as I know the Biden team does, there are more of us by 2022, then you have to do what’s right for our community,” Jane Kleeb, President of Bold Alliance, which has spent more than a decade struggling with TC Energy Corp.’s Keystone XL, said Friday on a call with reporters. “You have to stand up against these big oil and gas fracking pipelines and say ‘no more’. “

Pipelines have been a focal point in the fight against climate change, putting leaders such as Canada’s Biden and Justin Trudeau in dire straits as they pledge to help reduce global carbon dioxide emissions as they fall. ‘a Group of Seven summit in the UK. The United States is the world’s largest producer and consumer of oil, and it remains unclear how plans to wean Americans off gasoline will come to fruition. Canada has the third largest crude oil reserves in the world and its economy benefits enormously from their development.

Environmentalists and Indigenous groups in both countries are putting increasing pressure on the two leaders to halt pipeline developments, with protests in Minnesota against Canadian giant Enbridge Inc.’s expansion of its oil sands pipeline. line 3 turning violent this week.

Other projects targeted by activists include Energy Transfer LP’s Dakota Access pipeline, which has been transporting crude from the Bakken oilfield in North Dakota to Illinois for four years, and the proposed Byhalia Connection pipeline, a joint venture between Plains All American Pipeline LP and Valero Energy Corp. . to transport oil from Memphis to Mississippi.

The Enbridge project, licensed by the Army Corps of Engineers under former President Donald Trump, involves the replacement and expansion of an existing pipeline, which will allow it to transport 760,000 barrels per day of Canadian crude over approximately 350 miles on the American side.

Opponents say it puts native lands and watersheds at risk across Minnesota, and they argue it is incompatible with Biden’s ambitions to fight climate change.

About 200 anti-pipeline activists were arrested after clashes with law enforcement along the Line 3 route across the state earlier this week, in an episode recalling altercations over the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Activists are still camping in several places along the route of the pipeline, with Winona La Duke, executive director of Honor the Earth, vowing to keep up the pressure. “We will be on the rivers – protecting our rivers – as long as necessary,” she said.

Actress and activist Jane Fonda jokes with another protester during protests in Minnesota on June 7, 2021.

Enbridge spokeswoman Tracie Kenyon said the protests had no impact on construction. “Our main goal is the safety of everyone involved – our workers, first responders and the protesters themselves,” Kenyon said. “We respect everyone’s right to protest peacefully and legally. This project is about security and we remain fully committed to completing it on time. “

Environmentalists want Biden to order the Army Corps of Engineers to revoke a critical water crossing permit for Line 3. But that could spark a backlash from Canadian politicians, especially after the president’s rejection of Keystone XL in January. Trudeau personally announced the authorization of Line 3 in 2016.

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said the administration had shown an “inconsistent commitment” to solving the problem and now faces a test: “Will these Trump pipelines become pipelines? Biden? Will this administration fully assume its responsibility to respond to the climate crisis? “

“It’s a movement that helped elect this president by knocking on millions of doors, making millions of phone calls, sending messages, making donations – doing everything in his power to change our country and change our policy, ”said Brune. “What we need is a president who does not work to defend American oil interests – who does not work to defend Canadian oil interests but who works to defend our people, our indigenous communities, our water and our climate. “

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