Starting with support for the rally in Washington DC in February 2013, Pittsburgh’s environmental community has seen the Keystone XL Pipeline as a major symbol of what is wrong with our national energy policy. Citing climate change, on Sept. 6, 2015 President Obama rejected the pipeline. Since then we have opposed the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline. On January 24 President Trump signed an executive order that reopens the discussion of whether these pipeline should be built or completed, much to the consternation of groups like the Sierra Club.
Because the actual consequences of Trump’s action are unclear, sending a personal message to President Trump will be timely.
Why there is uncertainty about Trump’s executive order is explained by Duncan Meisel of 350.org:
- He did *not* approve Keystone XL or Dakota Access. He briefly succeeded in confusing a lot of people on this point
- On DAPL he told the Army Corps of Engineers to “consider” revoking the environmental review placed on it by the Obama Administration.
- On Keystone XL, he invited TransCanada to re-apply and if they do, mandated a final decision on the pipeline within 60 days and waived input from environmental agencies.
- And when TransCanada does re-apply, they no longer have permits in Nebraska, and their permits in South Dakota are being challenged.
- Trump also placed conditions on approval of the pipelines — like limiting oil exports, and determining where the steel comes from — that the oil companies might not accept.