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Published on Monday, April 3, 2017

Keystone XL Pipeline Good to Go Thanks to Trump


Keystone XL Pipeline Good to Go Thanks to Trump

The controversial and dangerous Keystone XL Pipeline is set to begin construction thanks to the thoughtless work of Trump and his administration. Despite public protests and outcries from environmental activists, Trump is pushing ahead with his “new era of American energy policy” which may lead to environmental disaster for us all.

Trump Approves the New Pipeline

Trump recently signed the presidential permit allowing TransCanada to begin work on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The proposed pipeline will carry 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. From there, the pipeline would meet up with another Keystone pipeline and send the product to oil refineries on the Gulf Coast. The pipeline is set to be 900 miles long. And while the current administration has touted the beneficial economic impact the pipeline will have, it’s only set to create 35 permanent jobs after construction.

Trump told reporters at the Oval Office on March 24th, “It’s going to be an incredible pipeline. Greatest technology known to man. Or woman. And frankly, we’re very proud of it.” He then went on to speak with Russ Girling, the president and CEO of TransCanada, who will be responsible for building the pipeline. Trump joked with him about the years of strong opposition the pipeline had faced; he literally laughed at the work of environmental activists to stop pipeline construction.

It seemed that as well as being jovial about the contentious pipeline project, Trump was also uninformed. When reading out a statement that the pipeline would be 900 miles long, Trump paused to utter, “Wow!” as if he was only just learning about the facts of the project. Trump was also informed that the pipeline would still need a state permit by Nebraska to begin construction. Foolishly, Trump answered, “Pete Ricketts {governor of Nebraska} is a fantastic governor. I’ll call him today.” However, a state permit is only given by the approval of five elected commissioners in the state of Nebraska; it cannot be granted at the discretion of a governor who happens to be in Trump’s pocket.

Activists Are Fighting Back

In regards to the state permit, Jane Kleeb, the president of Bold Alliance, fired back at Trump by saying, “Trump is so arrogant to think that a phone call to Governor Ricketts would somehow grant and green-light this project in our state. News flash to President Trump: Governor Ricketts actually has no role in the permitting process in Nebraska.”

Other environmental activists echoed Kleeb’s cry and promised to continue fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline, just like they have been doing for years. Bill McKibben, the co-founder of, said, “Game on! The fight will be very real, and very intense. There are millions and millions of Americans who are committed to ensuring the Keystone Pipeline never gets built. The president, as he approved this thing this morning, as he issued the permit, he turned to the CEO of the Canadian company to build it and said: ‘When does construction start?’ And the actual answer to that is, never. This project is going to be fought at every turn.”

Longtime Keystone opponent and famous author and activist Naomi Klein also lent her voice to the opposition. Klein said, “This is no surprise coming from a State Department headed by a man who was CEO of Exxon until a couple of months ago, and from a White House for whom digging up planet-destabilizing carbon is the centrepiece of its jobs plan, despite the fact that renewables and energy efficiency have the capacity to create exponentially more jobs.” Klein also went on to call the project a disaster for the planet and called out the leaders of Canada for championing a pipeline project when they call themselves bold climate leaders.

Why Obama Rejected the Keystone Pipeline in the First Place

In November 2015, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline after over seven years of political debate, protests, and activist campaigning.  Obama said, “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action on climate change. Frankly, approving that project would have undercut that global leadership, and that is the biggest risk we face: not acting.” Unfortunately, it seems the current administration does not share his views and are set on taking actions that will hurt our planet and destroy America’s position as a climate change leader.

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Author: AThompson

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