On anniversary of ecological disaster, Trump approves Keystone Pipeline


The project will pump oil for thousands of miles through the United States.

Donald Trump Keystone

Donald Trump signs executive order to greenlight Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines in January. // Photo: Office of the President of the United States

Friday morning, the 28th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill that killed hundreds of thousands of animals and polluted 1,000 miles of Alaska’s coastline, President Donald Trump approved the Keystone XL Pipeline. The State Department has granted a permit to TransCanada to complete construction. When finished, crude oil will flow thousands of miles from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

“On 28th anniversary of Exxon Valdez disaster, Trump commemorated a disaster that already happened with one that is waiting to happen: #KXL,” tweeted Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

Trump promised, just days after his inauguration, that he would push forward with the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, both of which had been rejected or stalled under the Obama administration because of concerns from climate change activists, environmentalists, and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The Dakota Access Pipeline, when complete, will cut through disputed Sioux land and could threaten their water sources.

Former President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone project in 2015. At the time, he said the project would undermine efforts in the United States to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

“The dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline is one of the worst deals imaginable for the American people, so of course Donald Trump supports it,” Brune said in a statement released by the Sierra Club, which is holding a “Rapid Response” protest in Washington D.C. Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern Time. “This project has already been defeated, and it will be once again. The project faces a long fight ahead in the states, but the fact remains that the American people do not want more fossil fuels, we do not want our private and public lands destroyed by a pipeline carrying the dirtiest fuel around, and we do not want our future and our children’s future to continue be threatened by climate change.”