Keystone XL uncertainty and the environmental movement’s proficiency at saying no


in Canada, Economics, Law, Politics, The environment

It’s astonishing that the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline remains unresolved.

First, it shows how for activists determined to block a project it’s only necessary to make one jurisdiction say no. This is akin to the argument in computer security that the structure of vulnerabilities favours attackers over defenders; defenders need to protect every possible vector, while attackers just need one way in.

Second, this validates pipeline delay as a strategy. Using all available legal and political means to delay a project raises investor concern and probably the cost of financing. Since the point of blocking pipelines is blocking upstream bitumen sands development, creating uncertainty about any part of production, transport, and sales may help us avoid building inappropriate high carbon infrastructure.

Third, this supports George Hoberg’s concern (also raised by David Mackay) that the environmental movement has become highly capable at blocking projects but often lacks and skills and inclination to say yes to climate safe forms of energy.

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. August 8, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Tribes opposing Keystone XL promise to stop it in its tracks
August 8, Lincoln, Nebraska

– The Intertribal Coalition of Nebraska and the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma met today in Lincoln, NE to take a stand against the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline by signing the ​ Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion ​ . ​ After the signing today, over 150 Tribes in the US and Canada, including the Nations all along the KXL route in Alberta, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and now Nebraska, will have ​ committed to standing together to stop Keystone XL and the other three tar sands pipelines: Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline through Minnesota, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion through British Columbia and TransCanada’s Energy East. “Along with our Indigenous allies all along the KXL route like the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation) and all over Turtle Island (North America), we recognize the grave dangers in allowing this ‘Black Snake’ to enter our homelands”, said Chairman Larry Wright Jr. of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. “As the State of Nebraska stands poised to make a potentially life-altering decision about permitting this poisonous bitumen to be inflicted on its population, we stand poised to protect all life now and in the future.”

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