March 27, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Keystone XL would be another escalation in furthering an unfolding climate disaster, piping an additional 830,000 barrels of oil a day from the Alberta tar sands into the U.S. for processing. Oil from tar sands is some of the dirtiest, most carbon polluting oil on the planet. Tar sands production itself is extremely destructive to the environment—wiping out huge regions of forest, causing pollution of lands and groundwater, and poisoning Native peoples living in the region. Scientific studies have demonstrated that if humanity has any hope of avoiding climate catastrophe caused by burning oil and other fossil fuels and other practices, tar sands oil projects must be stopped cold and much “traditional” fossil fuels also must be left in the ground.
This pipeline would also trample on treaty rights of the Sioux, going through treaty lands and near several other tribal reservations. Trump/Pence have already rammed through the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), arrogantly attacking the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux and threatening water supplies, and now this.
According to a Sierra Club email promising renewed opposition to the building of Keystone XL, “A report from the University of Nebraska determined that Keystone XL is likely to have 91 significant spills, putting water sources and wildlife habitat at risk along the entire 1,179-mile route. Keystone XL would cross the Ogallala Aquifer, which is one of the country's largest sources of freshwater. A spill in the aquifer would threaten the drinking water for millions of Americans as well as the livelihood of local ranchers and farmers. The pipeline also lies within one mile of thousands of water wells in Nebraska, Montana, and South Dakota—putting even more people at risk of losing access to clean water.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in active resistance to Keystone XL and DAPL. More than a thousand sat in at the White House in mass arrests to stop Keystone XL in just one of many protest actions in recent years. Thousands heroically stood up to vicious police assaults on the Standing Rock Reservation to stop DAPL. Hundreds of Native tribes sent representatives to Standing Rock in an unprecedented action to protect Standing Rock Sioux treaty rights and the water and land. The resistance contributed to helping stop production of Keystone XL for years and for more than a year for DAPL, which shamefully now is being completed.
Map shows the Keystone XL Pipeline route (long dotted line) going through the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska. This natural underground water reservoir is one of the largest in the world. Contaminating the aquifer from leaks in the pipeline is a real and dangerous possibility.
Map: Natural Resources Defense Council
Approval of Keystone XL and DAPL is part of a savage war on the environment that this regime has radically escalated, with the goal of eliminating any restraints on capitalist profit-making and plunder of resources, and arrogantly expanding U.S. global domination, including over energy resources. This is also an attempt by Trump/Pence to crush opposition among Native peoples and large sections of the population that stand with them and care deeply about saving the planet. At a time when the future of the planet hangs in the balance, Trump and Pence’s rule, if not stopped, would mean unmitigated disaster for Earth and humanity’s place on it.
This system and those who rule over it are not capable of carrying out economic development to meet the needs of the people now, while balancing that with the needs of future generations and requirements of safeguarding the environment. They care nothing for the rich diversity of the earth and its species, for the treasures this contains, except when and where they can turn this into profit for themselves... These people are not fit to be the caretakers of the earth.
Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:29