Sunday, September 26, 2021

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New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

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The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

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A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Keystone XL Pipeline Axed; Win for MT Tribes, Environment

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Friday, January 22, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. - President Joe Biden made the Keystone XL Pipeline one of his top priorities on his first day in office, issuing an executive order to revoke the controversial project's permit. Tribes and conservation groups are cheering the decision.

The pipeline aimed to deliver 800,000 gallons per day of Alberta tar sands through Montana on its way to Louisiana and Texas. Bill Whitehead is chairman of the Assiniboine and Sioux Rural Water Supply System in northeastern Montana.

He said it's been a long-fought battle, with many ups and downs.

"It was looking tough at different times, but it looks like we may prevail," said Whitehead. "But you never let your guard down. They, in Canada, still want you to fight it out, you know, as well as other corporate entities."

Whitehead said he was concerned about the pipeline leaking because the local water system was not designed to process tar sands.

TC Energy, the company behind Keystone XL, said Biden's decision will result in the loss of thousands of jobs.

Summer Nelson, director of the Sierra Club's Montana chapter, said it's a relief for the waters and habitats where the pipeline would have crossed. She said she hopes this is an indication of how the Biden administration will approach the environment, and recalls the president's words in his inaugural address.

"His comment about responding to that very cry for survival from the planet itself gave us, definitely, some hope that he will continue making the right decisions for the climate," said Nelson, "and hopefully take similar action on other pipelines, like Line 3 and the Dakota Access Pipeline."

Line 3 carries Alberta tar sands through the upper Midwest and its proposed expansion is facing resistance from Indigenous communities in Minnesota. The Dakota Access pipeline began operating in 2017.

On his first day in office, Biden also rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement.

Disclosure: Northern Plains Resource Council and Sierra Club, Montana contribute to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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