1. Update
  2. Environment & Energy

Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Approved

By Emily Wirzba, March 24, 2017

Today President Trump announced that he was approving the construction permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

This approval marks a reversal in US policy, as President Obama had rejected the project in 2015, saying it would undercut our global leadership on climate change.

This pipeline would add 24.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to our atmosphere each year, equivalent to placing 5.7 million new cars on the road. The pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to the US Gulf Coast every day.

Many livelihoods are threatened by this pipeline, including indigenous peoples, farmers, ranchers, and endangered wildlife. It crosses the Ogalalla Aquifer, one of the world’s largest aquifers, which supplies over two million people with freshwater.

However, there are still steps that need to be taken before construction can actually begin. The Nebraska’s Public Service Commission must issue a state permit before the project can move forward.

We hope that the Nebraska PSC will reject the state permit, and the pipeline will not be built. And we hope that our nation will embrace clean and renewable energy sources, rather than relying on fuels that are harmful to God’s creation, vulnerable communities, and future generations.

Emily Wirzba

  • Legislative Representative, Sustainable Energy and Environment

Emily Wirzba leads FCNL’s lobbying work to achieve bipartisan recognition of climate change and action in Congress. Emily meets with members of Congress and their staff to promote FCNL's environmental priorities. She also works closely with FCNL's network across the country to organize constituents to lobby, write, and advocate for bipartisan environmental action in Congress. She currently serves as co-chair of the Washington Interreligious Staff Community's Energy and Ecology Working Group.