After President Joe Biden kept his promise to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, with a Day One executive order rescinding the presidential permit for the project, Indigenous campaigners and climate organizations were quick to respond with pressure on the United States and Canada to turn the decision into a trend.
Indigenous Climate Action issued a release declaring a “win for Mother Earth”, but identifying the Line 3, Dakota Access, and Trans Mountain pipelines as fights yet to be won, along with a largely failed attempt by the Trump administration to sell oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“In the aftermath of the KXL cancellation announcement, multiple members of the Liberal government and Conservative leaders have reiterated their support for KXL, claiming that Canada can still reach its climate targets,” the group said. “But the actions of the current government are taking us away from meeting our Paris Agreement commitments and willingly ignoring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
Stand.earth pointed to the “markedly different place” the world has become since Keystone and Trans Mountain were first proposed more than a decade ago, with climate change accelerating, more and more governments taking action on the climate emergency, and fossil producers “losing investors by the day”.
With the spotlight now moving to Trans Mountain, “the facts alone haven’t been enough to convince [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau to cancel this C$12.6 billion boondoggle—but a shift in climate politics from our closest economic ally could be,” Canadian Oil and Gas Program Director Sven Biggs wrote in a fundraising email. So “this is a critical moment to get ahead of [Alberta Premier Jason] Kenney and his fossil fuel friends who are spewing lies that the Trans Mountain pipeline is now needed more than ever.”
Stand and Dogwood BC cited analysis from the Canada Energy Regulator showing no need for either the Keystone or the Trans Mountain projects.
“Stopping Keystone in its tracks should be the strongest warning sign yet that Trans Mountain is a losing bet for Canadians,” Dogwood said. “But industry is using Keystone’s cancellation to pile on the pressure to get Trans Mountain built. The Liberal government needs to listen to the conclusions of its own energy regulator: if Canada follows through on its climate plan, neither pipeline will be needed—and TMX will lose billions for Canadian taxpayers.”
350 Canada launched a petition calling on the Trudeau government to introduce a Just Transition Act, as it promised to do in 2019. With Keystone gone, “one thing is clear: the fossil fuel era is ending,” the petition site states, and “workers can’t keep waiting for help with the transition. They need action now. It’s time for Trudeau to keep his promise to workers and legislate the Just Transition Act.”