All the times Keystone XL was inevitable

A list of quotes from the past, for fun.

I couldn’t let another week come to a close without doing something about the final cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

I wrote my first article about the tar sands oil project in 2014. Later that year, I travelled to Alberta, Canada to see the mining pits for myself, and meet one of the indigenous communities affected by the high-polluting oil’s production.

Needless to say, it’s been a long road since then. And there have already been a ton of great retrospectives written on the decade-long battle and what it means. So I’m not going to try to outdo them.

Instead, I’m just going to provide this list of all the examples I could find where Very Important People and Institutions said this project was “inevitable,” a “no-brainer,” a “done deal,” or otherwise definitely, absolutely, very likely getting built.

I hope you get as much joy out of reading it as I did from making it.

Selected quotes about Keystone XL, in chronological order

  • It’s a “done deal.”
    Former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, September 2011.

  • A “no-brainer … [I’m] confident” the pipeline will be built.
    -Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, described by Bloomberg News, September 2011.

  • “Most analysts, yes, they do expect it will be built.”
    CNN analyst Steve Hargreaves, October 2011.

  • “There’s little reason for America to reject it.”
    -Washington Post editorial board, August 2011.

  • “[It’s] a no-brainer … how in the world could you say no?”
    Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, March 2012.

  • “I think it’s going to be approved one way or the other.”
    Republican Senator John Barrasso, September 2012.

  • “The Canadian oil sands will be developed no matter what happens.”
    -Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean, as described by National Journal, September 2012.

  • “We believe the White House will reverse course and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.”
    Moody’s report, November 2012.

  • “It's overwhelmingly likely the oil would find another way to market.”
    USA Today editorial board, February 2013

  • "It's overwhelmingly likely that Keystone XL will be approved."
    David Gordon, former State Department policy director and former head of research at Eurasia Group, April 2013.

  • “All the facts are overwhelmingly on the side of approval.”
    Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, May 2013.

  • “The Keystone XL pipeline is a no-brainer.”
    Republican Congressman Sam Graves, May 2013.

  • "My view is that you don't take no for an answer. … This won't be final until it's approved and we will keep pushing forward."
    -Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, September 2013.

  • It’s “a no-brainer. … build the damn thing.”
    -George W. Bush, November 2013.

  • “It is, in my judgment, a necessary and inevitable victory. I absolutely believe that. I can’t see how it will be otherwise.”
    -Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, February 2014.

  • “It’s a no-brainer.”
    -Former Louisiana Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, February 2014.

  • “I think its eventual approval under the right circumstances is inevitable.”
    -Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, September 2014.

  • “The Keystone pipeline is a no-brainer.”
    -Former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, February 2015.

  • “[It’s'] a no-brainer.”
    -Former Alaska Gov. and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, February 2015.

  • “When the logic of something is overwhelming in an environmental, economic and energy security sense, its adoption is inevitable.”
    -Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, September 2015.

  • “The bottom line: Keystone, they are finished.”
    Former President Donald Trump, March 2017

And just a few headlines, for fun

  • “Insiders: Obama will approve Keystone XL pipeline this year”
    National Journal headline, October 2011.

  • “Keystone XL likely getting built”
    UPI headline, January 2012.

  • “Despite concerns from green groups, the Keystone XL Pipeline saga will likely end in approval”
    -U.S. News headline, April 2013

  • “Done deal: Trump approves Keystone XL pipeline.”
    KOTA TV headline, March 2017.

That’s it. That’s all I got. Have a fantastic weekend.

The journalism you just consumed is 100 percent independent and funded by readers. You can help support it—and grow HEATED’s ability to hold the powerful accountable—with a paid subscription

If the cost of this newsletter ($8/month or $75/year) would create a financial burden, please stay on the free list! But, if you can afford it, consider becoming a paid subscriber today.

Catch of the Day:

It is inevitable that there will be a picture of Fish at the bottom of this newsletter. Including his cute face in here each day is a no-brainer.

OK, that’s all for today—thanks for reading HEATED! If you’d like to share this piece as a web page, click the button below.


If you’re a paid subscriber and would like to post a comment, click the “Leave a comment” button:

Leave a comment

Stay hydrated, eat plants, break a sweat, and have a great day!