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President Obama delays a decision on the northern leg of Keystone XL; construction begins on the southern leg and encounters fierce resistance

After signing compromise budget legislation at the end of 2011 stipulating that President Obama must make a decision on Keystone XL within 60 days, in January of 2012 President Obama rejects TransCanada’s pipeline permit application on the grounds that there has been insufficient time for a proper review. The president specifies that TransCanada can re-apply for a permit with a different route. In March, President Obama approves the permit for the southern leg of Keystone XL. Construction of the southern leg of Keystone XL encounters fierce resistance, as local landowners and activists come together to form Tar Sands Blockade and confront pipeline construction crews with nonviolent direct action. In September, Tar Sands Blockade launches a tree sit along the route of the pipeline that goes on for over 80 days.

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