Castro, Steyer join pledge opposing the Keystone XL pipeline

White House hopefuls Julián Castro and Tom Steyer on Monday signed a pledge to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, joining three other 2020 contenders in doing so.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have already signed on to the pledge from Bold Nebraska, which was launched last week.

{mosads}The pledge calls for candidates to promise to “revoke the existing presidential permits issued unilaterally by President Trump 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signed a presidential permit as a way to jump-start the delayed construction of the 1,179-mile pipeline, a permit which superseded a March 2017 order.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 Cramer (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.”

Tags 2020 Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Jay Inslee Kevin Cramer Keystone XL pipeline North Dakota Tom Steyer

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