Tell the Trump Administration: No Keystone XL

Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State

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Comments deadline: Nov. 8th

The Trump Administration's State Department just published another hastily-produced draft "Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS)" that concludes the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would produce only "minor" impacts to our land, water, endangered species and Native American sacred sites in Nebraska like the Ponca Trail of Tears.

A new 45-day public comment period on this sham review is now open, and we must make our voices heard. (A solitary 3-hr public hearing has also been scheduled for Oct. 9 in Lincoln, NE.)

We're outraged at this continued violation of Tribal sovereign rights, property rights and our environmental laws  — and Bold, along with Tribal Nations and other environmental groups continue to challenge the Trump administration's rubber-stamp approval of a federal permit for KXL in the courts.

But right now, it's critical to submit a comment so the Trump Administration knows you stand with us against the pipeline.

The draft SEIS states that, while "cultural resources" reviews remain ongoing, the Mainline Alternative route, which would cross the historic Ponca Trail of Tears, and come within 25 miles of the grave of Standing Bear, would have only "minor" impacts on these sacred sites. [1] Tribal Nations have continuously protested that TransCanada and the U.S. government have failed to conduct proper consultation with them about the project as sovereign nations.

This route also includes fragile sandy soils and and sensitive water crossings in Nebraska counties that have never before undergone environmental review — and still haven't, because this sham SEIS took any and every shortcut possible to rely on the outdated 2014 review, in violation of key federal environmental protection laws.

  • Oil spills: The review includes analysis of the effects of a potential tarsands oil spill from Keystone XL and its disastrous effects on pristine farmland, native prairie grasses, aquifers and other water bodies like the Missouri River, where a spill could travel more than 40 miles downstream and contaminate drinking water for Lincoln and Omaha. It concludes only "minor" potential impacts from a tarsands spill into our precious Ogallala aquifer, or into the fragile Sandhills and sandy soils that make up the "prime farmland" that comprises 72% of the route.
  • Endangered species: The review ignores science at every turn to find only "minor" or "negligible" impacts on Endangered Species whose habitat is in the pipeline's path, including the beloved and iconic Whooping Crane.
  • Construction issues: The review notes that TransCanada plans to use the same controversial and dangerous construction technique of "weighting" the pipeline down near water bodies and in floodplain areas, which was shown to cause protective coating to erode leading to a 407,000-gallon spill on the company's original Keystone Pipeline in South Dakota in 2017. [2] TransCanada has also seen other recent spills and catastrophic failures on its pipelines, including an explosion on its less-than-year-old Leach Xpress gas pipeline in West Virginia in July. [3]

Despite the illegal sham environmental review process that's been set in motion — which we will continue to fight in the courts — it's critical that all Pipeline Fighters sign on and tell the Trump administration they stand with us against Keystone XL.

Add your name to tell the Trump Administration: NO Keystone XL pipeline.

(*Note: If you're a landowner on the KXL route, we strongly encourage you to compose your own detailed, individual comment and submit directly to the State Dept. via the form at this link.

Include specific references to your property's location, and any significant features or concerns you have about KXL. If you have questions about submitting your comment, email mark@boldnebraska.org.)

REFERENCES:

[1] "Keystone XL Pipeline Advances Despite Incomplete Surveys of Tribal Sites," Indianz.com, 7/31/18.

[2] "PHMSA: Weight on Keystone Pipeline Led to Coating Failure, Oil Spill," Materials Performance, 6/4/18.

[3] "TransCanada's New 'Best-In-Class' Gas Pipeline Explodes in West Virginia, Causing Fiery Blast," DeSmog, 6/7/18.

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To: Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State
From: [Your Name]

To: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. State Department:

I am writing to state my opposition to TransCanada's proposed Keystone XL foreign tarsands export pipeline project.

Your approval of a federal permit for Keystone XL was based on a stale environmental review from 2014, in clear violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement relies on outdated and incorrect data to draw conclusions that the pipeline would have only "minor" or "negligible" impacts on the land, water, sacred sites and endangered species in its path.

Additionally, the current proposed highly-expedited review schedule for the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is insufficient, and additional public hearings must be scheduled to accommodate all affected communities on the pipeline route whose voices must be heard.

There are over 100 landowners on the "Mainline Alternative" route who never knew a pipeline might be plowing through their farms, and were never able to voice their concerns at a public hearing in their community. A public hearing should be scheduled in their community, convenient for landowners to travel locally to participate.

A challenge to brought by landowners and tribes to this route's illegal approval by the Public Service Commission is pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court.

This project is an abuse of eminent domain for private gain that threatens Nebraska's precious Ogallala aquifer and fragile Sandhills that nourish our farms and ranchers, in addition to indigenous communities and sacred sites like the Ponca's "Trail of Tears," wildlife habitat for endangered species, and our planet's climate.

Keystone XL is all risk, and no reward, propping up a foreign corporation's dirty fuel export pipeline of the past, when we must instead be investing in a clean energy future for our children.

I demand that the State Department, the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, and all other federal agencies deny any future permits for this project, and immediately revoke the existing cross-border permit to stop any surveying activity in Nebraska or elsewhere on the proposed route.

Thank you.