Monday, 19 November, 2018

Federal judge in Montana blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline

Federal Judge Halts Construction Of Keystone XL Pipeline Montana Federal Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline
Edmund Robinson | 09 November, 2018, 23:04

Trump claimed there would be "great construction jobs" stemming from Keystone XL, which involves the building of a 1,200 mile pipeline across six USA states in order to bring crude oil from Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The ruling also blamed President Donald Trump's administration, several times, for failing to explain why it had reversed a previous decision made by the Obama administration that cited climate change as a reason for rejecting the project, The Hill reported on November 8.

Although the decision does not permanently halt the pipeline's construction, it nevertheless comes as TransCanada, the Canadian company that owns Keystone, is preparing to start construction in Montana, shipping pipe to various locations throughout the state, the Great Falls Tribune reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris' ruling late on Thursday came in a lawsuit that several environmental groups filed against the U.S. government in 2017, soon after President Donald Trump announced a presidential permit for the project.

"The Department instead simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change to support its course reversal", Morris wrote.

"We keep killing it, and it keeps coming back from the dead", Dallas Goldtooth from the Keep It In The Ground campaign for the Indigenous Environmental Network said, as cited by CBC News. New tar sands pipeline projects threaten Indigenous rights, put drinking water and communities at risk, accelerate the climate crisis and move us in the wrong direction. Morris was appointed by Barack Obama and began his term in December of 2013. "The courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they can not bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists, and Native communities".

The Trump administration has regularly run afoul of the courts in its attempts to repeal environmental rules and approve fossil fuel projects.




Work can not proceed until the State Department completes a supplement to the environmental impact statement that complies with the National Environmental Policy Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, Morris ruled. -Canada border. TransCanada joined the litigation to defend the permit approval.

"Rejecting the destructive Keystone XL pipeline is a victory for the grassroots activists who have worked against the Keystone XL pipeline for the past decade", Keever continued.

He said the government's analysis did not fully study the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions, the effects of current oil prices on the pipeline's viability or include updated modeling of potential oil spills.

Then came policy shifts in the Trump administration.

In 2015, on the eve of the worldwide climate talks in Paris, the Obama administration appeared to bring an end to the seven-year-long saga when it announced it was halting construction of the pipeline, arguing that approval would compromise the country's effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

- The department "acted on incomplete information regarding" the potential damage to cultural resources in Indian territory along the route.

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