Keystone XL: How It Happened in the First Place

One of President Biden’s first actions by executive order was to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

For years millions of dollars was spent influencing local state legislatures and Indigenous communities. So-called “dark money” groups helped sway U.S. public opinion around the Keystone XL pipeline and ultimately install a new oil-friendly administration in Washington.

An investigation by The Fifth Estate explores the hidden role of dark money, enabled by the Citizens United decision, in the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline. Although this investigation and the article below are over three years old, they point directly to the influence of the dark money explosion after the Citizens United decision in 2010. 

 “There’s been an explosion in terms of the amount of dark money,” Chuck Lewis, an investigative reporter who founded the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C., told The Fifth Estate. “It’s gone up from a few hundred thousand dollars to 1.4 billion just since 2012.”

Revisit the 2017 article on the CBC website.