March 18, 2019 – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld its previous ruling blocking construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. The company behind the pipeline, TransCanada, has claimed that if construction on Keystone XL did not begin before March 15, it would cost them the entire 2019 construction season.
This decision is one of several challenges facing the Keystone XL pipeline. In Nebraska, farmers and ranchers are fighting in court to cancel TransCanada’s permit for construction through the state. Additionally, more than 20,000 people have signed the ‘Promise to Protect,’ a commitment to join future creative resistance against Keystone XL if called upon by Indigenous leaders.
Next week, leaders behind the ‘Promise to Protect’ will begin a national tour to bring training and skills to communities around the country on resisting Keystone XL and other fossil fuel projects. The tour will stop in 10 cities, with trainings held by Indigenous leaders and local organizations working to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground.
Faith Spotted Eagle, member of the Yankton Sioux Nation and Brave Heart Society: “This latest decision puts a halt to TransCanada’s frenzied efforts to force construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. No means no! Common sense prevails.”
Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network Executive Director: “This decision is a big step towards victory. The courts have sided with us. Oceti Sakowin, Umoⁿhoⁿ, and Ponca nations along the pipeline route stand with us. First Nations people at the source of the tar sands stand with us. It’s time for TransCanada to face the facts, the resistance to stop this dirty tar sands project is unified and not diminishing. In the defense of the sacred, we will continue to fight, until we win.”
Judith Le Blanc (Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma), Director, Native Organizers Alliance: “This ruling is a set back for TransCanada and an opening for the growing No KXL movement. We now have more time to organize and educate the public about the need to protect the Missouri River Basin and the role it plays in the health and well-being of the land, the wildlife and the indigenous peoples of the region.”
May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director: “TransCanada has failed again and again to prove that Keystone XL is anything but a disaster for communities and our climate. A movement of Indigenous leaders, farmers and ranchers, and their allies have been pointing this out for years. The only reasonable response is to block construction of this dangerous project.”
Lewis Grassrope, Black Hills Sioux Nation treaty council and Wiconi Un Tipi Camp: “We are grateful to hear the decision to uphold the injunction from the ninth Circuit Court against TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline. It shows there is still humanity left in this world looking out for those living along the pipeline route. This decision helps us to remain strong against the powers that support Keystone XL. Our prayers are still being answered and we will keep persevering to overcome this dangerous pipeline.”
John Harder, Dakota Rural Action Chair: “Dakota Rural Action is pleased with this decision. However, it needs to be pointed out that even without this decision, the pipeline still has many permits needed in order to be able to go forward under the South Dakota permit conditions. In addition, this calls into question the declaration of an ‘emergency’ by Governor Noem in passing the ‘riot-boosting’ bill.”