Following Ill-Advised Federal Permit for Keystone XL Pipeline, Lawsuit Filed to Block Construction
Washington, DC – Following the Trump administration’s imprudent issuance of a cross-border permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline last week, Northern Plains Resource Council; Bold Alliance; Center for Biological Diversity; Friends of the Earth; the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana to challenge the permit and related environmental reviews and approvals for Keystone XL.
The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Keystone XL, which the State Department completed in January 2014 and did not update before issuing, severely underestimated the project’s dangerous impacts on the climate, water resources, wildlife, and communities alongside the outlined pipeline route. More than three years later, there is increasing evidence of the risks of completing KXL. The State Department ignored much of this evidence in its haste to approve KXL under a 60-day deadline set by President Trump and relied solely on an outdated EIS. If approved, KXL would be responsible for at least 181 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) each year, comparable to the tailpipe emissions from more than 37.7 million cars or 51 coal-fired power plants.
Kate French, Chair of the Northern Plains Resource Council, said, “As Montanans, we understand the importance of water. We depend on our rivers and our groundwater for drinking, for irrigation, and for our biggest economies – agriculture, recreation, and tourism. A threat to our water is a threat to our most basic needs. Together we must do everything we can to protect our water and our future." Kate can be reached for comment at 406-461-5312.
Ken Winston, Legal Counsel of the Bold Alliance, said, “The Bold Alliance is proud to stand with the millions of people our organizations represent in this challenge to the State Department’s flawed approval process for the KXL pipeline. We stand for the rule of law and protection of the air, the lifegiving water and land that sustains us. We stand against eminent domain for private gain. KXL still has no legal route through Nebraska; TransCanada has the burden to prove their proposed route is in the public interest. We do not believe they will be able to meet that burden.”
Kieran Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity, said, “The Keystone XL pipeline will spill oil, pollute our drinking water, push us deeper into the climate crisis and drive wildlife closer to the brink of extinction. We’re not going to let Trump ram it down our throats. Trump should know that any time he tries to harm people or the environment, there’s going to be a wave of resistance that will rise up to meet him – every day, every week for as long as it takes.”
Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth, said “For almost a decade, Americans have fought to stop the dirty Keystone XL pipeline from polluting our air and water. We cannot stand by and allow oil and gas companies to ruin our climate and pollute our land, water, and sacred cultural sites. This litigation continues our resistance to Big Oil and Trump’s war against our health and planet.”
Anthony Swift, Canada Project Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said “The Trump Administration broke the law by arbitrarily endorsing a permit to build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It ignored public calls to update and correct a required environmental impact statement that should have led to one conclusion: Piping some of the dirtiest oil on the planet through America’s heartland would put at grave risk our land, water and climate. We’re asking the court to put an end to Keystone XL, once and for all.
Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said “The Keystone XL pipeline is nothing more than a dirty and dangerous proposal that’s time has passed. It was rightfully rejected by the court of public opinion and President Obama, and now it will be rejected in the court system. It has never been a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but rather a question of when, and Keystone XL is no different. This tar sands pipeline poses a direct threat to our climate, our clean water, wildlife, and thousands of landowners and communities along the route of this dirty and dangerous project, and it must and will be stopped.
filed complaint“We continue to meet Trump in the streets, and we look forward to meeting him in the courts to stop his reckless agenda that threatens our clean air and water and the climate. He was defeated – twice – when he tried implementing a Muslim ban; he was defeated when he tried to take health care away from 24 million Americans, and he will be defeated once again as he tries to force this pipeline on the people who have already seen its rejection. This movement has already defeated the Keystone XL pipeline, and we will do so once again.”