Castro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline

Castro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline
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White House hopefuls Julián Castro and Tom SteyerThomas (Tom) Fahr Steyer2020 Democrats recognize Pronouns Day Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart Poll: Almost half of voters say debates are best gauge of candidate's standing MORE on Monday signed a pledge to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, joining three other 2020 contenders in doing so.

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate John Kerry calls out lack of climate questions at debate CNN catches heat for asking candidates about Ellen, Bush friendship at debate MORE (D) and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Democrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenButtigieg tweeted support for 'Medicare for All' in 2018 Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Hillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets MORE (D-Mass.) have already signed on to the pledge from Bold Nebraska, which was launched last week.

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The pledge calls for candidates to promise to "revoke the existing presidential permits issued unilaterally by President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, sending both projects back to relevant federal agencies to undergo legitimate environmental review and Tribal consultations."

It also calls for the president to direct federal agencies to submit both pipelines to a "true climate test," to protect farmers from eminent domain abuse and to respect U.S. treaties signed with tribal nations.

"The KXL & DAPL pipelines were approved by Trump without consent of Tribal Nations or thought of climate change," Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, tweeted Monday, shortly before speaking at the Frank LaMere Native American Presidential Forum in Sioux City, Iowa. 

"I'm standing with tribal nations, farmers, ranchers, and environmental groups like @BoldNebraska, @IENearth, @MN_350, & @HonorTheEarth and taking the #NoKXLpledge." 

The Trump administration has long sought to complete the Keystone XL pipeline.

Trump in May signed a presidential permit as a way to jump-start the delayed construction of the 1,179-mile pipeline, a permit which superseded a March 2017 order.

The administration was handed a victory by a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in June, which removed a key barrier to the construction of the international energy pipeline by nullifying an injunction against a previous permit application.

Keystone XL has been a key issue in national energy policy for much of a decade since its proposal by TransCanada.

Various environmental groups sued in July to block the pipeline for a second time, arguing the project violates environmental law.

Democrats have generally sided with environmental groups in opposing Keystone XL.

All five of the candidates to have signed on to Bold Nebraska's pledge have promised aggressive action to address the climate crisis.

The Trump administration and Republican lawmakers have defended the proposal as being important for energy security, denying claims that its construction would damage ecosystems.

Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerLawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show Maryland manufacturers are stronger with the Export-Import Bank White House officials stand by Syria withdrawal, sanctions delay amid bipartisan pushback MORE (R-N.D.) Monday criticized Warren for signing on to the pledge, saying the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines "are critical pieces of energy infrastructure that protect both our national security and our economic security."

"They will deliver significant amounts of energy Americans can use every day in the safest, cleanest way possible. We cannot let this progress be undone, and we cannot go back to the days of a federal government that leaves states like North Dakota to fend for themselves.”