Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Federal judge in Montana blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline

Federal judge in Montana blocks construction of Keystone XL pipeline

TransCanada Corp.'s long-troubled Keystone XL oil pipeline project hit another roadblock as a U.S. District Court in Montana ruled it must wait for a further environmental review.

In March 2017, the Trump administration issued a permit approving construction of the pipeline, reversing the Obama administration's decision to block the controversial project.

What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?

The state department has now been ordered to do a more thorough review of the affect on issues like the climate.

"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.

Since its conception, the pipeline has sparked a backlash from environmentalists and indigenous peoples who say it violates historical treaty boundaries and would bring environmental problems.

Hayes told The Washington Post that the company had already been moving equipment into place and started pre-construction in Montana and South Dakota with the intent of beginning construction in early 2019.

No immediate impact in oil markets is seen, as the pipeline isn't scheduled to come online for years regardless of the ruling.

The pipeline was being prepared by TransCanada. The Obama-appointed judge specifically called out State's disregarding the climate change arguments against the pipeline it had made under Mr. Obama. "Today, the courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they can not bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists and Native communities".

Thursday's ruling deals a major blow to President Donald Trump and the oil industry.

The administration is appealing numerous rulings and may appeal Thursday's decision as well. The pipeline would have added 830,000 barrels of daily shipping capacity - about 4.2 per cent of US oil demand - when it came into service, which was expected to happen in 2021.

Neither TransCanada nor the State Department could immediately be reached for comment on the ruling. "We remain committed to building this important energy infrastructure project".

It's meant to be an extension of TransCanada's existing Keystone Pipeline, which was completed in 2013.

It met sustained opposition from environmental advocacy groups, as well as from Obama, who anxious about the contribution it would make toward climate change. Construction of the U.S. leg had been scheduled to begin next year. There's simply no excuse for approving this awful project.

The same environmental analysis that the department carried out before denying the permit in 2015 was ignored when the department turned around past year and approved it, the judge argued.

"The [State] Department must supplement new and relevant information regarding the risk of spills", Morris wrote.

Morris particularly criticized the Trump administration for ignoring the recognized effects of the pipeline on climate change. Those could alter the overall impact of Keystone XL and should have been considered by the government.

The analysis of a cross-border project like this is done by the State Department. It "ignored its duty to take a "hard look" at these two connected actions".

"The department instead simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change to support its course reversal".

Like this: