It’s been a truly awful few days for the fossil-fuel industry, which is another way of saying that it’s been an unexpectedly good few days for planet Earth: a trio of sweeping and unlikely victories have demonstrated the depth of great organizing and the increasing weakness of the industry’s hold on our political system.
First, on Sunday, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy—enormous Southeast utilities—announced that they were scrapping plans for the Atlantic Coast natural-gas pipeline, despite having invested $3.4 billion in the project.
On Monday came the news that a federal court had ruled in favor of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who have been fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. In this case, the pipeline has already been built, and is carrying oil. Stunningly, the court said that Energy Transfer, the company that developed the pipeline, has to shut it down and drain the crude within the next thirty days—an unprecedented blow.
Then, on Monday night, the Supreme Court let that Montana ruling on Keystone XL stand, meaning that the project can’t be built until much of the litigation is settled.
Photo Caption/Credit; On Monday, news came of an unprecedented federal court ruling in favor of the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who have been fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.Photograph by Stephanie Keith / Reuters