In yet another desperate attempt to prop up the fossil fuel industry, the president has just tried to get around Federal court orders to stop construction of the Keystone XL pipeline until a real environmental assessment is done, as required by law. The problem for the pipeline company is that it is not possible to claim the pipeline will not have disastrous environmental impacts.
Last fall a Federal Judge in Montana temporarily blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris, in Montana, issued a 54-page ruling that found that the State Department had “simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change” from the Obama administration in its zeal to further Trump’s goal of letting the pipeline move forward. In doing so, the administration ran afoul of the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires “reasoned” explanations for government decisions, particularly when they represent reversals of well-studied actions.Trump signs permit for construction of controversial Keystone XL pipeline, by Brady Dennis and Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, March 30, 2019
Many of us have worked for years to try to protect Mother Earth from the devastation done by the mining of tar sands oil, coal and fracking. Our youth in particular know how these fossil fuel projects have adversely affected the world they were born into, and threaten the very survival of their children. We cannot build any more fossil fuel infrastructure if there is any hope for future generations.
Where do these perverse actions come from, when fossil fuel energy is now more expensive than the cost of electricity from wind and solar? When thousands of new jobs are being created in renewable energy? When more and more climate catastrophes are impacting the lives of millions, and resulting in billions of dollars of damage? The only possible answer is this continued push is to support just a few fossil fuel investors at the expense of the rest of humanity, and further harm to Mother Earth. This is a more consequential struggle than any military war.
The ongoing, historic flooding in the Midwest, for instance, was caused by climate changes from ongoing, increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The Oglala Lakota Nation flood emergency continues.
Fortunately, there is still hope from a case before the Nebraska Supreme Court, where landowners have sued the Nebraska Public Utilities Commission over the route of the pipeline. Similarly, there is a case before the Iowa Supreme Court challenging the Iowa Public Utilities Commission’s abuse of eminent domain to force farmers to sell land to build the Dakota Access pipeline.
Please write letters to your Congressional representatives. This link can help you do that: www.lakotalaw.org/kxl
As unusually powerful late winter storms throughout the Midwest highlight the worsening effects of climate change, President Donald Trump continues to sign executive orders expediting the fossil fuel projects that exacerbate the problem.Jeff Kisling
I have worked for years to try to educate the public, and my Congressional representatives, about the dangers of tar sands mining, and the devastating effects of continued greenhouse gas emissions.
Please talk to your colleagues on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and ask them to do everything they can to ensure due process of law, separation of powers among the branches of government, and proper respect and care for our planet.
When pipelines like Keystone XL leak, as they inevitably do, the people pay. When storms hit, the people pay again—with their tax dollars and sometimes with their lives. Those most adversely affected are often people of color or poor people living on the front lines of our growing climate catastrophe.
Please use the power vested in you by the people to protect them from pipelines and other oil infrastructure with the potential to bring ruin to our nation and the world we share.