WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden is expected to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline upon taking office, according to media reports. This order would override President Donald Trump’s attempts to speed up development of the pipeline, and it would put an end to construction efforts on the project. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has been expected to run from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. The plan had it set to perilously cross two major rivers. If completed, the pipeline would have disrupted sensitive ecosystems. Tar sands are one of the dirtiest polluting sources of oil on the planet. A spill in North Dakota in 2019 spread 400,000-gallons of tar sands oil onto a wetland.
Experts from Environment America and U.S. PIRG issued the following statement:
“Cancelling this permit is no-brainer,” Environment America Public Lands Director Ellen Montgomery said. “Tar sands oil is dirty and dangerous. Pipelines such as Keystone XL are disruptive and damaging to the areas they are built through. Construction and devastating spills can contaminate water supplies and destroy habitat, affecting species like the whooping crane. This decision is a win for the environment and the communities where the pipeline was scheduled to be constructed. And with renewable energy on the rise, it’s just unnecessary to do any new construction on pipelines anywhere.”
“From wildfires raging across the western United states to historic floods in the Midwest and hurricane after hurricane battering the southeastern and Gulf states, we’ve seen just how devastating the impacts of climate change can be this year,” said U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director Matt Casale. “In order to begin to turn the tide and avoid worse impacts yet to come, we have to stop burning fossil fuels. Emissions from the world’s existing fossil fuel infrastructure are already doing enough to dash our hopes of limiting Earth’s warming this century to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. On top of that, building new infrastructure like the Keystone XL pipeline, which would result in millions of tons of new carbon emissions, just adds fuel to a fire that’s already burning down our house. By cancelling this permit and keeping that fuel in the ground, President Biden will show us just how serious he was when he promised to take bold climate action.”