Environmental Groups Are Challenging the Administration About Keystone XL
On Mar. 24, the Trump Administration issued a presidential permit to TransCanada to operate and construct Keystone XL, a 1,179-mile pipeline carrying up to 830,000 gallons of oil each day from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Neb., which reverses the Obama administration’s block on this project.
Environmental groups—Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, National Resources Defense Council, Inc. and the Sierra Club—are fighting back against the notion. These advocacy groups are suing the Trump administration, arguing the pipeline would bring “massive quantities of tar sands crude oil” to the Gulf Coast (Steele City), according to the complaint.
While the TransCanada claims that it will safely carry crude sands crude oil from Canada to Steele City, these advocacy groups believe otherwise. Not only will the production and use of tar sands crude oil release high levels of carbon dioxide that will cause climate change, the mining and transportation will pollute the land, air and water. Furthermore, the presidential permit violates the National Environmental Policy Act, a law issued in 1970 that promotes the enhancement of the environment. On the day of the pipeline’s approval, Trump reportedly said, “It’s a great day for jobs and energy independence.” He also called it “incredible” and “the greatest technology to man or woman.”
Although the pipeline could open up 42,000 jobs, environmental groups argue that it will pump about 17 percent more greenhouses gases and cut across the Ogallala Aquifer, a large underground deposit of fresh water.
“This dirty pipeline is a loaded gun pointed at our climate and some of America’s most vital water supplies, and we won’t let Trump pull the trigger. This arrogant administration wants to ram this massive pipeline through with zero consideration of oil-spill risks or the immense harm Keystone will do to endangered wildlife. But Trump’s alternative facts and contempt for our environment won’t stand up in court,” — Kierán Suckling, executive director of Friends of the Earth
The pipeline approval brings a heated debate amid environmental groups—mostly on the opposing side—and the administration. Will the initiation of TransCanada severely impact our planet, threatening the mission of many environmental advocacy groups?