President-elect Biden: Keep your promise to stop Keystone XL

Dear President-elect Biden,

First, we want to offer our congratulations on your being elected the 46th President of the United States of America. Millions upon millions of people supported you recognizing that we need an administration to immediately adopt policies to heal and protect our environment so that future generations can prosper.

This moment demands a leader who understands that this nation cannot prosper without clean air and water, a healthy climate, and unspoiled land. This moment demands a leader who respects our democratic principles and honors the sovereignty of tribal nations. This moment demands a leader who values science and puts the health and dignity of people above inflated corporate earning sheets. This moment demands a leader who will protect future generations by respecting the hard-won laws that uphold environmental justice and our sacred connection to the soil, wind, and water that sustains all life.

This moment demands that you keep your campaign promise to stop the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which threatens all of these values. We look forward to seeing you rise to meet this moment, and we are here to support you when you do.

 The following steps should be taken for you to keep this promise:

  • First and foremost, you have full and complete legal authority to rescind the Keystone XL Presidential Permit for the U.S./Canada border on your first day in office on January 20, 2021. We ask that you revoke this permit as a first order of business.
  • Next, we ask that you direct the Bureau of Land Management to revoke its right-of-way permit for Keystone XL.
  • Finally, we ask that you direct the Army Corps of Engineers to deny TC Energy’s application for a 404 water crossing permit for Keystone XL. Should that permit be granted prior to your inauguration, we ask that you direct the Army Corps to revoke it.

During your campaign, you recognized that climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face today, and you committed to making climate mitigation a top priority. While all fossil fuels contribute to climate change, tar sands oil is exceedingly carbon intensive to produce and, therefore, a major contributor to the climate crisis. We cannot meaningfully combat climate change while supporting and enabling tar sands production.

Existing legs of the Keystone pipeline have spilled over 800,000 gallons of tar sands oil since 2011. Keystone XL is a grave threat to clean water and clean land. This project threatens the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers as well as the health and prosperity of tribal and rural communities whose municipal water supplies could be devastated by a Keystone XL spill.

The proposed routes and permits for Keystone XL have repeatedly ignored, disrespected, and violated the sovereignty of Tribal Nations in the U.S. We are morally and legally obligated to respect these nations.

President-elect Biden, this moment demands decisive leadership and strength of character. We are counting on you to keep your promise to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and we are ready to support you in that effort every step of the way.