Environmental and Indigenous groups are digging in for a long fight against Trump, who is working to expand oil infrastructure and undo federal initiatives to mitigate climate disruption. Already, the administration faces two lawsuits over reversing Obama-era climate rules and issuing a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Environmental and Indigenous groups filed two lawsuits yesterday challenging the Trump administration’s recent decision to issue a cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that would bisect the nation and carry carbon-heavy crude oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Last week, President Trump issued a ceremonial “presidential permit” to TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, and instructed the State Department to reverse a 2015 decision by the Obama administration to deny a federal permit needed for construction. The State Department quickly issued the permit, which is now being challenged by environmental groups.
Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, one of the groups challenging the permit, said President Trump is breaking “established environmental laws” and treaties with Native Americans in his attempt to push the pipeline through.
“Indigenous peoples’ lands and waters are not here to be America’s environmental sacrifice zone,” Goldtooth said in a statement.
Opposition to fossil fuel infrastructure projects like major oil pipelines has become central to the movements for climate justice and Native rights. Over the past seven months, the Native-lead resistance organized by the Standing Rock Sioux and others to the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota inspired people to action around the country and the world, and resistance to the pipeline’s southern leg in Louisiana has also taken form.
The Indigenous Environmental …read more