The Keystone XL pipeline, which, along with the Dakota Access Pipeline, became a buzzword and a political lightning rod during the Trump administration, may finally be dead thanks to an executive order signed by President Biden rescinding a prior permit. But, according to Yessenia Funes writing for Atmos, it is the frontline Indigenous organizers, working tirelessly for the last ten years to stop the project, that deserve the real credit.
Since 2011, Joye Braun has been a key part of the fight against the pipeline. In the beginning, residents like her primarily worried about protecting important waterways and sacred lands. Since then, climate change and greenhouse gas emissions have become urgent global concerns. “Braun has seen former President Barack Obama (with Biden alongside him) kill the 1,179-mile pipeline only to see Trump resurrect it. That’s why she calls it a ‘zombie pipeline.'”
Activists are cautiously optimistic that Biden’s action will stop the pipeline for good. “Tribal nations in the U.S. are sovereign nations with treaty rights. All they ask is that the federal government and private companies treat them as such and leave their water and lands alone.”