By John Zangas, http://www.dcmediagroup.us
Environmental groups rallied at the White House after Trump’s State Department granted approval to the KeystoneXL pipeline from Canada, in a new commitment to do whatever it takes to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. The project had been considered defeated in November 2015, when Obama rejected final approval of the State Department permits.
The project was the focus of an epic six-year battle between TransCanada Corporation and hundreds of environmental groups. The battle was waged with a broad range of groups, including Indigenous people, ranchers, students, clergy, and green groups and involved legal challenges, and the largest US environmental protest.
Several hundred people joined organizers at the White House rally in a vow to challenge TransCanada Corporation, the pipeline builder, as well as the banks financing the project. Sierra Club, CCAN, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Divest DC were among groups that participated. President Trump earlier signed an approval to restart Keystone XL, while TransCanada CEO Russell Girling stood behind him in the Oval Office.
The southern leg of the 1379 mile pipeline is already completed. The northern part, if completed, would transport Alberta Tarsands slurry from Canada, through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and join a part of the pipeline in Nebraska which has already been completed. The project still has many hurdles to overcome, including permission requirements from the Nebraska Public Utilities Commission. It will take at least eight months for permits to be approved and will likely be challenged in a legal battle.