Environmental activists were only temporarily satisfied when President Joe Biden signed an order rescinding the Keystone XL’s pipeline’s presidential permit, but now, buoyed by Biden’s actions, they want an end to oil pipelines in the United States.
The Guardian began the trend late last week by pressing the Biden administration to take further action in the name of preventing climate change, bringing an immediate end to the oil and gas industry in the United States.
“There is every reason to celebrate the end of a decade-long fight against Keystone XL. Tribal nations and Indigenous movements hope it will be a watershed moment for bolder actions, demanding the same fates for contentious pipeline projects such as Line 3 and the Dakota Access pipeline,” a columnist for the outlet noted last week.
Environmental groups, it seems, are concerned that Biden is simply returning to Obama-era environmental standards, which were good at the time, but fall far short of those now demanded by the increasingly extremist environmental lobby.
“Biden’s policy catchphrases of ‘America is back’ and ‘build back better’ and his assurance to rich donors that ‘nothing would fundamentally change’ should also be cause for concern,” the Guardian’s columnist writes. “A return to imagined halcyon days of an Obama presidency or to ‘normalcy’ – which for Indigenous peoples in the United States is everyday colonialism – isn’t justice, nor is it the radical departure from the status quo we need to bolster Indigenous rights and combat the climate crisis.”
Indeed, The Associated Press notes, the Dakota Access pipeline is next on environmentalists’ agenda.
“Opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline, which carries oil from North Dakota to a shipping point in Illinois, want Biden’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to shut it down,” the AP reported Tuesday. “A federal appeals court ruled last week that the project must undergo a more thorough environmental review, known as an environmental impact statement, but it declined to shut the line down while the review is completed.”
They’re also targeting the “Line 3” pipeline that runs through parts of North Dakota and Minnesota, and the “Line 5” pipeline that runs through Michigan.
“Opponents of the Line 3 replacement pipeline in Minnesota are stepping up pressure on Biden. More than 100,000 people have signed a petition — promoted by Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York – calling on Biden to revoke a water permit. Opponents also marched Friday to the Corps’ St. Paul office,” the AP reports. “Line 5…carries oil and liquids used in propane from western Canada to refineries in the U.S. and Ontario. Line 5 moves about 23 million gallons (87 million liters) daily from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, traversing parts of northern Michigan and Wisconsin.”
But Biden’s decision to nix the Keystone XL pipeline has been costly for Democrats. In addition to lost jobs, the executive order has strained relationships with western and midwestern states and with labor unions, for whom the pipeline represented major opportunities.