Montana Federal Judge Halts Keystone XL Pipeline

Jo Lloyd
November 10, 2018

Former TransCanada executive Dennis McConaghy, who has written a book on the Keystone XL pipeline saga, said the Calgary-based pipeline giant had successfully re-contracted all the available space on the pipeline, which should sufficiently satisfy the court of the viability of the pipeline.

"The Trump administration tried to force this dirty pipeline project on the American people, but they can't ignore the threats it would pose to our clean water, our climate, and our communities", Hayes said.

A coalition of environmental and indigenous rights groups filed a lawsuit against the firm and the State Department in March to block Trump's permit, according to the Tribune.

TransCanada Corp's almost 1,200-mile pipeline has become one of the major battlegrounds in the climate change debate and, if completed, would carry an estimated 800,000 barrels per day from Canada's tar sands pits to Gulf Coast refineries in the US.

"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. It was also a blow to Trump, who approved the pipeline shortly after taking office in 2017 as part of a plan to boost USA energy infrastructure.

A federal judge blocked the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Thursday, ruling that the Trump administration hadn't justified changing President Obama's earlier rulings.

"An agency cannot simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past, any more than it can ignore inconvenient facts when it writes on a blank slate", Morris wrote.

Thus, the court supported claims of various environmental groups and native American tribes that protested against the project, which traverses sacred tribal lands and could pollute local waters.

US President Donald Trump had granted a permit for the pipeline. "We remain committed to building this important energy infrastructure project", the company said in an emailed statement.

The judge also argued that the State Department failed to properly account for factors such as low oil prices, the cumulative impacts of greenhouse gases from the pipeline and the risk of oil spills.

TransCanada had recently announced plans to start construction next year, after a State Department review ordered by Morris concluded that major environmental damage from a leak is unlikely and could quickly be mitigated. In the USA, the pipeline would stretch 875 miles through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, with the rest continuing into Canada. Construction of the U.S. leg had been scheduled to begin next year. "It was a political decision made by a judge". "The courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they can not bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists, and Native communities".

"We have received the judge's ruling and continue to review it". At that time, the Department "relied heavily on the United States's role in climate leadership".

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