In some ways it feels like more than eight years have passed since I signed the Keystone Pledge of Resistance and was trained as an Action Leader. I learned a great deal, and connected with a large number of people during the years I worked on the Keystone resistance campaign. Things that were invaluable for subsequent fossil fuel resistances, including the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). And were helpful as I made more Native friends, including our walk together on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018 which was another action against DAPL.
The Keystone Pledge of Resistance
“I pledge, if necessary, to join others in my community, and engage in acts of dignified, peaceful civil disobedience that could result in my arrest in order to send the message to President Obama and his administration that they must reject the Keystone XL pipeline.”
The Pledge was an Internet campaign designed to put pressure on President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry the thick tar sands oil from Canada to the refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists were having a difficult time persuading the public and industry to transition away from fossil fuels. The environmental organizations Rainforest Action Network (RAN), CREDO, and The Other 98% recognized the Keystone decision as an opportunity to both raise awareness about the dangers of tar sands and possibly even stop the construction of the pipeline. 97,236 activists signed the Pledge
One of the things I worked on with my friend Derek Glass, was the following video that we used as an educational tool.
We held multiple public rallies in downtown Indianapolis. When Indiana’s US Senator, Joe Donnelly said Keystone would create many jobs, the Indianapolis Star printed my letter to the editor. He didn’t say anything about jobs after that.
Multiple times it looked as if our efforts would be defeated. The last administration re-approved the pipeline’s permit. I/we are truly thankful President Biden terminated the permit on his first day in office. Finally forcing TC Energy to give up.
The Keystone XL pipeline project is officially terminated, the sponsor company announced Wednesday.
Calgary-based TC Energy is pulling the plug on the project after Canadian officials failed to persuade President Joe Biden to reverse his cancellation of its permit on the day he took office.
“OMG! It’s official,” Dallas Goldtooth, Mdewakanton Dakota and Diné, wrote on Twitter regarding Keystone XL’s termination. “We took on a multi-billion dollar corporation and we won!!”
Goldtooth is part of the Indigenous Environmental Network. The network said it has been organizing for more than 10 years against the pipeline.
“We are dancing in our hearts because of this victory!” wrote the network in a statement. “From Dene territories in Northern Alberta to Indigenous lands along the Gulf of Mexico, we stood hand-in-hand to protect the next seven generations of life, the water and our communities from this dirty tar sands pipeline. And that struggle is vindicated. This is not the end – but merely the beginning of further victories.”‘Keystone XL is dead!’ INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY, June 9, 2021
“When this fight began, people thought Big Oil couldn’t be beat,” Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, who led sit-ins against Keystone XL in 2011 at the White House, said in a statement. “But when enough people rise up we’re stronger even than the richest fossil fuel companies.”Keystone XL pipeline developer pulls plug on controversial project by Brady Dennis, The Washington Post, June 9,2021