Keystone XL Pipeline cancelled

RAPID CITY, S.D. — President Biden has already made good on a few of his campaign promises, one of his first executive orders, being, the cancellation of the Keystone KL cross-border permit.

It’s seen as a huge win in a long battle among native and environmental communities. The debate regarding the pipeline surrounded economic development and fossil fuel emissions that would cause climate change.

“This 13 year long battle to have day 1 in the new administration issue an executive order, it sends a big signal that our organizing that we do, collective organizing that we do actually has the ability to impact policy and impact the livelihoods of our communities and our people,” said Nick Tilsen, president of the NDN Collective. 

Tilsen also believes revoking the permit is an example of how to create healing between indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and can be the catalyst for change with other indigenous communities and issues. Oglala Sioux president Kevin Killer was also pleased with the decision to revoke the pipeline and released a statement thanking the administration.

“As President of the Oglala Lakota Nation, I would like to congratulate President Joseph R. Biden and Vice-President Kamala D. Harris for the successful transition of power. As one of President Biden’s first acts in office, the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline permit sends a strong message to tribal nations, and symbolizes a willingness to build on government-to-government relationships established through our treaties (specifically, the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties of the Great Sioux Nation). The KXL pipeline was set to take course through the original treaty lands of the Oceti Sakowin (also known as the Great Sioux Nation). TC Energy planned to move crude oil from Canada to Nebraska, by which the crude oil would connect with existing pipeline routes to eventually make its way to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

President Biden’s decision to cancel the permits for the KXL pipeline demonstrates his willingness to listen and follow through for tribal nations, listen to tribal voices, and respect tribal lands. For your actions in protection of our Mni (water) and Unci Maka (lands) Mr. President, myself and the Oglala Lakota Nation want to thank you. We look forward to having a healthy line of communication between our governments, building upon and recreating innovative ideas to further our bonds, and together thinking forward to create enduring friendships.”

Despite support from some communities, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem did not share that sentiment.

“I am very disappointed that President Biden has used his executive order privilege to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. I think it’s the wrong policy on energy, it’s the wrong policy on the environment, and it’s the wrong policy on safety.”

Noem says South Dakota will continue to have conversations with the White House, but at this time is unsure about other options and recourse she can take.

Categories: Local News, National News, South Dakota News