Tribal citizens and allies rally in front of the Trump International Hotel as part of Native Nations Rise in Washington, D.C., on March 10, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com / More on Flickr

Native Sun News Today: Groups line up to fight Keystone XL permit

Group sues over XL Pipeline permit
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Today
Health & Environment Editor

GREAT FALLS, Mont. –– The Indigenous Environmental Network and the North Coast Rivers Alliance filed suit in federal District Court here on March 27, for withdrawal of the Presidential Permit to allow construction and operation of the Keystone XL tar-sands crude-oil pipeline.

Subsequently, on March 30, six other project foes filed a similar suit for permit cancellation in the same court district: Bold Alliance, the Northern Plains Resource Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“President Trump is breaking established environmental laws and treaties in his efforts to force through the Keystone XL Pipeline,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the plaintiff Indigenous Environmental Network.

Donald Trump, acting on a campaign promise just four days after taking office, directed the State Department to revisit the previous Administration’s denial of the permit, prompting a new application from pipeline promoter TransCanada Corp. and federal approval March 23.

“That would bring carbon-intensive, toxic, and corrosive crude oil from the Canadian tar sands, but we are filing suit to fight back,” Goldtooth said in a written statement March 30.

TransCanada Corp. sued the United States in federal court and in the international tribunal of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the tune of $15 billion in taxpayer money over the loss of expected corporate revenue after the past Administration ruled the private infrastructure project is “not in the national interest.”

Now that the new Administration has reversed the ruling, the Canadian company aims to complete its Keystone Pipeline System by connecting more pipes to the line it recently built from the Texas Gulf Coast to Steele City, Nebraska.

It expects to invest $10 billion to build the pipeline across unceded 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty territory in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana, in order to reach the U.S.-Canadian border and run it through Saskatchewan to Alberta Province.

This could allow a supply of diluted bitumen (dilbit), or tar-sands, mined from the boreal forest of Athabascan ancestral lands, to be slurried across the Northern Great Plains, the Yellowstone and the Missouri rivers, as well as the Ogallala Aquifer, if state permits also are in place.

TransCanada Corp. says the pipeline is the safest way to transport the heavy crude down south, where the refineries with the capacity to process it and the export facilities are located.

Plaintiff North Coast Rivers Alliance President Frank Egger argued, “No oil pipeline is safe. One major oil spill, and the Missouri River and adjacent aquifers would be polluted for generations.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Group sues over XL Pipeline permit

(Contact Talli Nauman at

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