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 SteyerAnalysis: 2020 digital spending vastly outpaces TV ads The Hill's Morning Report — Trump's new controversy Sanders, Yang to miss CNN's town hall on LGBTQ issues 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 Inslee2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Yang floats nominating Inslee as 'climate czar' MORE (D) and Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOmar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Democrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenUnited Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Omar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa 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 TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' 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 CramerPrimary challenges show potential cracks in Trump's GOP Castro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline EPA proposes rolling back states' authority over pipeline projects 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.”