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Dani Heffernan,,  +1 (305) 992-1544

Federal Judge Throws Out Trump’s ‘Presidential Permit’ for Keystone XL Pipeline

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ruled to vacate the crossborder permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, ordering TransCanada to cease all pre-construction for the project. The ruling states that the dismissal of President Obama’s previous decision against the Keystone XL pipeline by the Trump administration was unfounded, and that a new environmental review is required. Since Trump first issued a ‘Presidential permit’ for the pipeline and Nebraska commissioners granted a statewide permit for an alternate route, several lawsuits have been filed in opposition by Indigenous leaders, rural landowners, and environmental organizations. Additionally, more than 17,000 people have pledged to take future action along the Keystone XL pipeline route if construction begins.


Faith Spotted Eagle, member of the Yankton Sioux Nation and Brave Heart Society: “Heartfelt thanks for the thousands of prayers in the last 11 years that traveled to Montana to bring good news to stop Keystone XL pipeline construction. I heard the news sitting at the site where our powerful alliance signed the International Treaty Against KXL Pipeline and Tarsands, and that is no accident. We sleep well tonight and tomorrow we continue to keep our guard up, working stronger as good relatives until Keystone XL vanishes, and it will.”

Joye Braun, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member and Indigenous Environmental Network community organizer: “This is the best news we could have gotten today. To have the judge affirm that what Trump did was illegal and that this pipeline would affect climate change and destroy cultural sites of my people, and that water, our first medicine, is threatened. It's not over yet, but we are a step closer to stopping this zombie pipeline.”

Judith Le Blanc (Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma), Director, Native Organizers Alliance: “This court decision affirms science-based decision making as the proper way to make public policy. As caretakers of Mother Earth, Native communities are organizing alternatives to fossil fuels because the future of the planet depends on it. We applaud the decision and recommit to promoting a fossil-free future.”

Lewis Grassrope, Wiconi un Tipi Camp in Lower Brule, South Dakota: "Through our prayers we stood for the greater good of our people. Today one of those prayers has been answered with this decision on Keystone XL, but we must still stay the course to keep our people safe from any atrocious acts that affect our lives and livelihoods."

John Harter, a South Dakota Landowner potentially crossed by the pipeline and Chair of Dakota Rural Action: “We’re pleased and surprised by this decision. It’s nice to have a federal judge agree with the common sense analysis we’ve done. Basically you just can’t reverse a decision based on environmental and scientific facts just because you feel like it. We’re incredibly thankful for our Sister organization in Montana, the Northern Plains Resource Council, for taking an active role in this case. We are also thankful for the strong allies we’ve built in South Dakota with Tribes and Native Grassroots leaders. There hard work and dedication made this possible. Finally we are thankful for those national allies like who were willing to work with the grassroots and often defer to the wisdom found locally.”

May Boeve, Executive Director“This momentous ruling is a major victory that sends the Trump administration and TransCanada back to the drawing board on Keystone XL. For over a decade, Indigenous peoples, farmers and ranchers, and their allies around the world have been fighting to stop this pipeline. Despite every obstacle thrown our way, the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground has kept Keystone XL from being built. This latest decision confirms what we’ve known all along -- that Trump’s ‘Presidential Permit’ and environmental review process were a sham. Big Oil may have the money to push policy and politicians in favor of their profits, but we have morality, science, and common sense on our side. From the plains of Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota to Capitol Hill, we won’t stop until Keystone XL is gone forever.”


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