Presidential candidates are asked many questions about what they’ll do if they are elected. Many of those questions focus on reforming vast structural problems — which in most cases will also require a separate effort launched by Congress.
But we have a question for the Democratic presidential candidates that a newly elected President will have full authority over on Day One in office:
Will you reverse President Trump’s reckless, unilateral action to approve a permit and stop the Keystone XL pipeline?
President Trump took an unprecedented and unilateral action in March 2019 to approve a single pipeline with the stroke of a pen, on an “Executive Memorandum” granting a permit for TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL tarsands export pipeline project.
The pipeline would pump the dirtiest of fossil fuels, tarsands, from where it’s mined in Alberta, Canada, across 1,179 miles of critical bodies of water, Tribal treaty lands, and family farms and ranches in Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana — to Gulf Coast refineries, from where it would be exported to overseas markets.
U.S. Presidents are not empowered to write up proclamations that give Big Oil a free ride, and bypass our nation’s bedrock environmental laws written to protect our water, land, clean air and a livable climate. You may recall that this same pipeline project was rejected in 2014 by President Obama, whose administration found it to be not in the U.S. national interest because it would significantly exacerbate our climate crisis.
While Bold and other landowner, environmental and Indigenous groups have filed new challenges to Trump’s illegal KXL pipeline permit in federal court, on Aug. 13, 2019 we sent a joint letter (view letter) asking the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders to pledge now to revoke Trump’s unprecedented, unilaterally issued permit for KXL.
If a Democratic president is elected, we ask they pledge to take executive action on Day One in office to revoke Trump’s issuance of pipeline permits-by-presidential-fiat for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and immediately restore a true “climate test” for further review by federal agencies (Army Corps, FERC) of these projects — and all new energy projects — like Enbridge’s Line 3 tarsands pipeline, fracked gas pipelines in Appalachia, and vast expansion plans for LNG exports. We further ask candidates to end eminent domain abuse, and to honor our treaties with sovereign Tribal Nations.
The President of the United States should stand with the sovereign rights of Tribal Nations, the property rights of farmers and ranchers in rural communities opposed to the pipeline, and everyday Americans who care about a livable planet for our grandchildren who have been fighting together to stop KXL for nearly ten years.
Add your name to our call for all Democratic 2020 Presidential candidates to take the “NoKXL Pledge” — and pledge, if elected, to take executive action on Day One to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and restore a true “climate test” for all energy projects.
(Our “NoKXL Pledge” campaign will also include a steady stream of Water Protectors showing up at campaign events to ask candidates to take the pledge.)
Text of the “NoKXL Pledge”:
+ If elected, I pledge to take executive action on Day One to stop any construction on the Keystone XL pipeline — no matter what — and revoke the existing presidential permits issued unilaterally by President Trump for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, sending both projects back to relevant federal agencies to undergo legitimate environmental review and Tribal consultations.
+ I pledge to direct all federal agencies (State Dept., FERC, Army Corps) to submit these two projects, as well as all new pipeline and energy infrastructure projects to a true climate test, and reject permits for any project that would exacerbate our climate crisis.
+ I pledge to protect the property rights of farmers and ranchers from eminent domain abuse, and to honor the treaties the U.S. Government has signed with sovereign Tribal Nations.
Thank you to NoKXL Pledge Co-Sponsors:
(Add your org? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bold Nebraska & Bold Alliance
Nebraska Easement Action Team
Ponca Tribe of Nebraska
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Indigenous Environmental Network
Oil Change U.S.
Friends of the Earth Action
Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund
Climate Hawks Vote
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Progressive Democrats of America
NYC Grassroots Alliance
Bucks Environmental Network
Greenbelt Climate Action Network
New York Climate Action Group
Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline
Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline