The idea behind Who Won the Week is to give you the opportunity to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.
I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.
This week’s Who Won the Week winner is the environment. It’s about time the environment started winning, isn’t it?
So how did the environment win? Well, have you ever heard of the XL Pipeline? The 1,200 mile Keystone XL pipeline was first proposed in 2008 by Canada-based TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) as a way to quickly pump 830,000 barrels of tar sands (a.k.a. oil sands) per day from Canada’s Alberta province across the border to Steele City, Nebraska.Once there, the Keystone XL expansion would extend converge with the existing pipeline infrastructure, traveling south to Texas for processing in Gulf Coast oil refineries.
When the idea for Keystone XL was first conceived, the project made a lot of sense — the U.S. economy depended on oil, and supporters of the pipeline claimed it was in both countries’ interest to find a way to transport oil efficiently across the continent.
However, many Indigenous rights groups and people from communities along the proposed route argued the pipeline extension would have disastrous impacts for Native communities in both Canada and the U.S. and on the environment.
Environmental groups took note of Indigenous opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the pipeline became a cause célèbre of the various stakeholders — Native communities, climate activists, scientists, policymakers, farmers, landowners, and everyday citizens — engaging in the broader debate about climate change.
Facing pressure from the anti-Keystone movement, President Obama finally canceled the pipeline in 2015, saying the pipeline wouldn’t make gas any cheaper or improve American energy security.
But in January 2016, TC Energy filed a lawsuit against the U.S. for canceling Keystone XL pipeline. And of course, In January 2017, just days into his presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order inviting TC Energy to reapply for a presidential permit for Keystone XL to cross the Canadian border. He also promised a speedy approval process.
President Joe Biden issued an executive order revoking the pipeline’s permit on his first day in office, halting construction on the project. And finally, this past Wednesday, the Canadian developer TC Energy said that, after reviewing its options, the company had decided not to move forward. And so the embattled Keystone XL pipeline has officially been abandoned.
Good for the environment and good for the Indigenous people in both Canada and the U.S.
What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?