CANCEL KXL: Halt All Keystone XL Construction Due to Coronavirus Public Health Emergency

TC Energy (TransCanada), AFL-CIO, LiUNA, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Mayors & County Boards

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As the public health emergency from the novel coronavirus forces social distancing and community lockdowns, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) is about to endanger thousands of workers by sending them into rural and Tribal communities along the path of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline that are unequipped to handle the public health threat, in addition to the increased crime and sexual violence -- especially targeting Indigenous women -- arising from pipeline worker "man camps."

TransCanada continues to move ahead against all good judgment, and in spite of the company not having even secured all the necessary federal, state and local permits for the Keystone XL project -- which is also facing three federal court challenges to various permits, and lawsuits from landowners in Nebraska fighting eminent domain seizure of their land.

With researchers reporting that people may by "asymptomatic" and both feel and appear completely healthy, they may still be highly contagious despite displaying no symptoms.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is projecting that as many as 214 million people in the U.S. could become infected with the novel coronavirus, and as many as 1.7 million may die.

This is a time when we must recognize the health and safety of everyone -- especially the most vulnerable and marginalized communities -- is integral to the health and safety of our entire country. That's why we are all making sacrifices to protect our friends, families, and neighbors.

There is absolutely no need to risk the health and safety of construction workers or rural communities right now for a foreign corporation's tarsands export pipeline project. TC Energy must immediately today halt all "pre-construction" activity on the Keystone XL project -- and recall all workers it has already dispatched into the small rural and Tribal communities of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Furthermore, we call on TC Energy to start prioritizing the health and well-being of its workers during this public health threat, and provide full support for unemployed workers.

(Photo: Faith Spotted Eagle (right) and members and supporters of Brave Heart Society and the Yankton Sioux Tribe inside a solar-equipped tiny house built to take on tour of proposed KXL "man camp" locations to raise awareness about MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women). The tour has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus public health emergency. Photographer: Jen Cohen)

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To: TC Energy (TransCanada), AFL-CIO, LiUNA, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Mayors & County Boards
From: [Your Name]

For the health and safety of workers, and residents of ill-equipped rural and Tribal communities along the route of TC Energy (TransCanada's) proposed Keystone XL pipeline, all "pre-construction" activity should be immediately halted in the face of the public health threat from the novel coronavirus.

TC Energy must cancel all plans to move forward on construction, and in particular halt at once the establishment of any "man camps" that would bring thousands of out-of-state workers into rural communities, where rural hospitals and under-funded Indian Health Services cannot be expected to be burdened with any additional strain on their already limited capacity to provide care to those infected by the coronavirus. Man camps also generally bring into communities increased crime and sexual violence -- especially targeting Indigenous women.

A national emergency exists. We call on TC Energy to immediately halt all activity and cancel its planned construction on the Keystone XL pipeline project, as well as provide ongoing unemployment aid for all their potentially affected workers.