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.
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Stay hydrated, eat plants, break a sweat, and have a great day!
I love this as a reminder not just to never stop pushing forward, but also as a reminder of how easily groupthink takes hold among influential people. So much of this narrative was driven by KXL's advocates trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy - have influencers believe it was inevitable and discourage opponents from feeling the fight is worth the effort. So grateful to those who pushed through (and reported on it along the way!) and I'll always take this as a lesson of how we chart our own destiny.
Love this so much! They said the same thing about the Constitution Pipeline (NY/PA, killed 2014) and now say the same about the North Brooklyn Pipeline (NYC, currently opposed by residents who are going on a bill strike to fight it!) thank you for this newsletter every day!