A message from the SEIU Local 1000 Native American Committee
The Keystone Pipeline is a system of oil pipes running from Canada down to the Gulf Coast. The construction of the pipeline was proposed as a way to increase oil revenue and make the U.S. less dependent on Middle East oil imports.
As promised, President Biden made the Keystone XL Pipeline a priority by signing an executive order to halt the pipeline on his first day in office!
The move prioritizes environmental protection of the nation over short-term fossil fuel production, along with protecting sacred lands of the tribes and surrounding communities.
Had it proceeded, the construction process would have destroyed croplands, forests, pastures, wetlands, and small waterways, as the pipes run primarily through rural areas.
Tribal Leaders and communities organized opposition to the Keystone project based on these negative environmental impact concerns. Halting the project averts any possibility of water contamination and the severe health risks that come with it to nearby communities.
Construction of the pipeline would also have damaged sacred burial and ceremonial sites, destroyed cultural resources, and damaged historic archaeological sites. Furthermore, the uncertainty as to the amount of danger posed to natural water river ways, wetlands, and reforestation was unknown.
President Biden’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline was a huge victory and a tribute to the 13 years of dedicated leadership of a diverse collation of Tribal Leaders, environmentalists, and community grassroots crusaders. This opposition created allied tribal nations with landowners and ranchers from Nebraska, the Dakotas, Oklahoma, and Texas, who together insisted that our environmental future is not worth sacrificing for unsafe pipelines.
Continuing the pipeline would not make any meaningful long-term contribution to our economy or job growth, especially with our current output of shale oil. Keystone XL stood to benefit one corporation—TransCanada.
President Biden heard the voice of the people, of those who organized for a safe environment and healthy communities, not to special interest groups, and we thank him for his commitment to protect ALL of us.