Oil & Gas Pipelines: Standing Rock, Keystone XL, and More
Over the past decade, opposition to several oil and gas pipeline projects has united environmentalists, Native Americans, and rural landowners of all political backgrounds across North America. The Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines have been the most high-profile of these projects and have faced the most fierce resistance.
The Keystone XL project is now officially dead — President Joe Biden revoked the presidential permit for the project in early 2021 and the company behind the project, TC Energy (formerly TransCanada), pulled the plug on it soon after.
The Dakota Access pipeline, which was completed against the wishes of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, is currently undergoing an environment review led by the administration. Meanwhile, the company has secured permission from all states along its route to double its capacity.
This is a collection of Journal articles related to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines — as well as other pipeline projects across North America — and environmental and Indigenous activists’ struggles against these projects.
For bi-weekly updates on our reporting, sign up for Earth Island Journal’s newsletter.
May 31, 2023 – Claims that MVP is needed for energy security or demand — or that it is nearly built and has no legal hurdles ahead — are contradicted by data.
February 11, 2022 – Residents have been protesting National Grid’s pipeline, which bypasses wealthier, Whiter Brooklyn areas, since 2020.
August 10, 2021 – Project will pipe the ‘dirtiest fuel left on the planet’ across Minnesota’s pristine lakes and wetlands.
February 10, 2021 – Indigenous leaders, environmental groups, and stars including Cher and Robert Downey Jr. urge White House in letter.
January 27, 2021 – $3 billion tar sands pipeline expansion project faces renewed resistance from Indigenous rights activists and environmentalists.
April 30, 2020 – Environmental advocates call for nationwide moratorium on pipeline construction and approvals, citing threats to environment, vulnerable communities, and workers.
April 3, 2020 – Cash promise for the controversial oil pipeline comes just days after province cut $100 million from public education citing a funds crunch due covid lockdowns.
August 26, 2019 – Anti-pipeline advocates hang their hopes on existing lawsuits and Democrats.
August 8, 2019 – Emails reveal latest example of heightened scrutiny and surveillance of environmental and Indigenous groups.
May 1, 2019 – Seventy-one-year-old Terry Christenson says he’s doing it for his grandchildren and their children
November 9, 2018 – District court judge rules feds “jumped the gun” by pushing forward with the pipeline
October 16, 2018 – Opponents of the 160-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline, which will cross Native American land and 700 bodies of water, have chained themselves to machinery
October 1, 2018 – Two Spirits are reclaiming their collective identity in the battle to protect Turtle Island.
August 15, 2018 – Work on both pipelines have been temporarily halted due to vacated federal permits and multiple environmental violations
January 3, 2018 – Yaqui and Otomi communities challenge natural gas projects on the ground, in court
November 20, 2017 – Pipeline opponents have 30 days to appeal the decision
October 11, 2017 – Anti-pipeline activists celebrate victory, caution against complacence
October 3, 2017 – In the fields of Nebraska, Jane Kleeb has grown a bipartisan coalition of farmers, ranchers, tribes and environmental advocates to fight an international pipeline.
July 20, 2017 – Catholic order files religious freedom lawsuit to keep Atlantic Sunrise pipeline off their land
July 11, 2017 – Environmental groups hope to block pipeline’s path, promote renewable energy as Nebraska ponders pipeline approval
July 7, 2017 – A conversation with Myron Dewey, co-director of Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock
June 13, 2017 – New deal will facilitate transportation of tar sands from Alberta to Oklahoma
March 29, 2017 – Pending Nebraska permit could prove a deal-breaker; Environmentalists and Indigenous groups promise direct action, legal resistance
March 2, 2017 – Norwegian sustainable investment manager Storebrand hopes action will encourage other investors to divest from project
February 2, 2017 – Arrests came one day after federal officials suggested that government could soon approve the final stage of construction
January 24, 2017 – Environmentalists, indigenous activists vow to 'resist with all of their power’
January 16, 2017 – Residents are making themselves heard about the disputed Bayou Bridge pipeline
December 5, 2016 – Battle is won but the war isn’t over yet, warn camp leaders
December 1, 2016 – Environmentalists, First Nations gear up for long fight against tar sands oil pipelines
December 1, 2016 – Across North America Indigenous people are pushing for a renewable energy future.
November 3, 2016 – Police deployed pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets in 'standoff with protestors'
November 1, 2016 – TigerSwan has been involved in US interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq
September 12, 2016 – The Dakota Access Pipeline has rallied Native Americans tribes like no other issue in recent history
September 1, 2016 – The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is one among several projects threatening rural Appalachian landscapes and communities.
August 22, 2016 – Some 2,000 activists have descended on the site of the $3.7 billion pipeline construction project
June 30, 2016 – Environmentalists respond by criticizing closed-door trade deals that favor corporations
May 26, 2016 – Canadian regulators’ OK of the tar sands pipeline expansion draws flack from activists
February 1, 2016 – Trudeau government announces new climate test and consultation with Indigenous Peoples on all major resource projects
November 6, 2015 – President says transporting crude oil from Canada won't help the economy, lower gas prices, or increase the United States' energy security
August 1, 2015 – Documents reveal company failed to follow the federally mandated code of construction while building the pipeline's southern route.
June 8, 2015 – More than 18 months after federal investigation violated internal rules, activists say they were still watchlisted at the airport, visited at home by a terrorism task force and detained for hours because they ‘seemed like protesters’
May 14, 2015 – An interview with the Journal’s Adam Federman
May 12, 2015 – Internal agency documents show that FBI failed to get approval before cultivating informants and opening files on protesters in Texas
March 2, 2015 – The oil and gas industry’s political connections and lobbying prowess are well known. Its ties to intelligence and law enforcement agencies have become just as formidable.
February 26, 2015 – The energy industry is now firmly hitched to the national security state.
February 24, 2015 – GOP to schedule an override vote by March 3
February 12, 2015 – Ball is in the president's court after Senate passes bill approving the controversial oil pipeline project
February 3, 2015 – Falling oil prices could mean higher carbon pollution for the controversial pipeline, a finding that gives Obama new cause to reject the project
January 8, 2015 – The fight against the pipeline has energized the environmental movement
January 6, 2015 – Keystone supporters do not have the 67 votes needed to overcome a presidential veto
November 25, 2014 – With public protests on the rise, Ontario and Quebec to work together to ensure climate change is addressed before project is approved
November 18, 2014 – Leaked documents indicate that the Canadian oil transport company is desperate to build public support for its alternative to Keystone XL
June 17, 2014 – NextGen report could lead to a blowback against peaceful protesters
April 28, 2014 – Cowboy and Indian Alliance calls on “Man Who Helps the People” to protect America's land and water
April 15, 2014 – Will the KXL fight be environmentalists’ Vietnam?
January 31, 2014 – “The President has all the information he needs to reject this pipeline,” Keystone opponents say
October 21, 2013 – New report reveals billionare brothers own up to 2 million acres in Alberta's tar sands region
September 24, 2013 – A dispatch and slide show from 350.org’s “Draw the Line” rallies
June 20, 2013 – Company has compiled dossiers on protesters and shared them with law enforcement
June 7, 2013 – Canadian oil producers seeking to expand existing pipelines to get tar sands oil to the US market
April 4, 2013 – Environmentalist base is worried about president’s waffling on tar sands pipeline
March 13, 2013 – Michael Bishop says company’s permit application is fraudulent and contests eminent domain claim
March 5, 2013 – Gina McCarthy's promotion at the EPA will not allay fears that a recent State Department report means KXL is now a done deal
March 2, 2013 – Draft report released today says pipleline will have little impact on tar sands oil extraction
February 15, 2013 – Billionaire brothers’ use of fronts for corporate donations to politicians was illegal until Citizens United decriminalized this game
January 24, 2013 – No reason to deny project, bipartisan majority says, but others in Congress press Obama to back up climate change commitment
December 12, 2012 – State’s Attorney General cautions that more crime is a function of more people, but locals remain wary
January 18, 2012 – Greens Pushed Just Right, GOP Pushed Too Far
December 5, 2011 – Indigenous Groups Organizing to Halt Pipeline through British Columbia
September 28, 2011 – Do the Math: Burning the Tar Sands = Climate Catastrophe
August 30, 2011 – We Won’t Be Able to Break Our Dependence on Unsavory Regimes Until We Break Our Dependence on Oil Altogether
June 27, 2011 – If Approved, Keystone Would Increase US Oil Imports from Alberta Tar Sands