Democrats’ climate record is mixed – and it’s largely pressure from Indigenous and environmental groups that’s pushed them to act
Joe Biden scrapping the Keystone XL permit is a huge win for the Indigenous-led climate movement. It not only overturns Trump’s reversal of Obama’s 2015 rejection of the pipeline but is also a major blow to the US fossil fuel industry and the world’s largest energy economy and per-capita carbon polluter.
There is every reason to celebrate the end of a decade-long fight against Keystone XL. Tribal nations and Indigenous movements hope it will be a watershed moment for bolder actions, demanding the same fates for contentious pipeline projects such as Line 3 and the Dakota Access pipeline.
We must ask ourselves why Biden and his supporters can imagine a carbon-free future but not the end of US colonialism
Nick Estes is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is an assistant professor in the American studies department at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, he co-founded The Red Nation, an Indigenous resistance organization. He is the author of the book Our History Is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance (Verso, 2019)