From my family on Cheyenne River Nation to yours, I hope you’re having a joyous and safe holiday season! Of course, it’s a different kind of year in 2020, when we have to bring up safety in reference to the holidays. With all that’s happened, it’s critical that we do everything we can to ensure that 2021 and the years to come see meaningful change for a healthier world.
That’s why I ask you to sign our new petition to the president-elect. Let’s tell Joe Biden to stop the Dakota Access pipeline and keep his campaign promise to cancel Keystone XL (KXL). We must protect our climate, lands, and water. He has the power to do it, and he should be reminded of his obligation to protect the Earth.
We need president-elect Biden to enforce a robust environmental agenda from day one. The climate clock is ticking, and ending both KXL and DAPL should be one of his first steps as our chief executive. He has expressed his intent to take an anti-pipeline stance, and now we need to keep the pressure on. As FDR once said to a civil rights leader, “I agree with you, now make me do it.”
Courts have blocked both pipelines, but that hasn’t slowed their advance. In July, the Supreme Court even weighed in, upholding a decision to prohibit KXL crossing domestic waterways under the Endangered Species Act. Still, TC Energy has moved forward to create man camps which threaten Native women very close to my reservation. On DAPL, Trump reversed Obama’s decision to require further environmental review; but courts have kept its oil flowing, at least for now. The bottom line is that Biden ought to enforce the standards spelled out by the National Environmental Policy Act.
New leadership means new possibilities. It’s up to you, me, and all who hold our oldest relative, Unci Maka — our Grandmother Earth — dear to make sure we realize them.
Wopila tanka — Thanks for your action, and may our New Year bring big change!
Madonna Thunder Hawk
Cheyenne River Organizer
The Lakota People’s Law Project
P.S. Please sign our petition to president-elect Joe Biden: End DAPL and Cancel KXL for our health, our safety, and our future. Pending her confirmation, our friend Rep. Deb Haaland will soon head up the Department of the Interior. She’ll have the ability to strongly influence our national environmental policy, and we hope she’ll help Biden hear our call.