President-elect Biden is expected to revoke permits for the Keystone XL pipeline as one of his first acts upon taking office Wednesday. The cancelation of the $8 billion Keystone pipeline would be a major victory to environmental advocates and Indigenous groups and a demonstration of Biden’s commitment to making climate actions a top priority of the new administration. Rescinding the cross-border permit would be just the latest twist in the project’s tumultuous, 15-year history. President Obama delayed construction in 2015 under pressure from protests led by Lakota and other Indigenous front line groups, only to see Trump reinstate it in 2017.
This week, in an apparent – and seemingly unsuccessful – bid to get Biden to change his mind, TC Energy Energy Corp, the pipeline’s Canada-based developer, pledged to spend $1.7 billion to install renewable energy and eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from the pipeline’s operations, as well as hire an all-union workforce to build it.
By stopping the pipeline, Biden would be “showing courage and empathy to the farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations who have dealt with an ongoing threat that disrupted their lives for over a decade.” Jane Kleeb, founder of the anti-pipeline group Bold Nebraska, told the Washington Post. “Today marks healing, hope and a path for the clean energy that builds America back better.”
First 10 Days
According to a memo written by Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, Bidenthe newly sworn-in president intends to sign a raft of executive orders on Inauguration Day focusing on “the four overlapping and compounding crises”: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis. Among the dozen or so executive actions Biden plans to sign on Wednesday, he will also formally initiatiate the process for the U.S. to rejoin the the Paris Agreement, end President Trump’s Muslim ban, launch of a 100-day national mask-wearing initiative, and extend nationwide foreclosure and eviction restrictions.
Biden will follow with more orders over the following 10 days on the pandemic and health care, the economy, racial equity and criminal justice, reuniting families separated at the border. (CBC, Washington Post $, New York Times $, Wall Street Journal $, Reuters, Politico, The Guardian, BBC, The Hill, Earther, Climate Home, Truthout. Biden’s first 10 days: Wall Street Journal $, CNN, The Guardian Bloomberg $, Bloomberg $)