Environmentalists have taken a new, and clever, tack in their war against the hydrocarbon economy. As well as going after the companies that pump oil and natural gas, they are going after the companies that transport those products – the pipelines.
And they’re winning. In the past week, three big pipeline projects have taken severe blows.
On Monday, a U.S. federal judge ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline, which had been in operation and was taking oil from North Dakota to Illinois, must shut down while a new environmental review is conducted. Construction of the pipeline, which is partly owned by Canada’s Enbridge, was fiercely opposed by Native American groups.
On the same day, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request by the White House to allow construction of Keystone XL, the Keystone pipeline extension that would carry oil sands crude from Alberta to Nebraska.
Keystone is owned by Calgary’s TC Energy (formerly TransCanada Corp.). The project has been opposed by environmentalists for a decade and Joe Biden has said he would kill the project outright if he wins the November election.