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Keystone XL Pipeline Project Blocked

10 November 2018

"This is a complete repudiation of the Trump administration's attempts to evade environmental laws and prioritize oil company profits over clean water and wildlife", Jared Margolis, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in astatement.

Under President Trump, the State Department wrote "there have been numerous developments related to global action to address climate change, including announcements by many countries of their plans to do so" since the Obama administration's decision two years earlier.

The case is Indigenous Environmental Network v. U.S., 17-cv-00029, U.S. District Court, District of Montana (Great Falls).

The proposed Keystone XL 1,179-mile pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the Canadian province of Alberta to the U.S. state of Nebraska and down to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

"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. As a result, the number of people who will be genuinely surprised if the Keystone XL project-vetoed by the Obama administration and later revived by President Trump-ever sees the light of day is growing.

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A federal judge in Montana has issued an injunction once again halting construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, saying that President Trump had "simply discarded" the environmental impact the pipeline would have.

"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' judgement read.

In August, Judge Morris ruled that the State Department must supplement a more thorough study of potential environmental effects of the pipeline.

Environmentalists called the ruling a "major setback" for the pipeline project.

Trump, a Republican, said the project would lower consumer fuel prices, create jobs and reduce US dependence on foreign oil.

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"It also used "outdated information" about the impact of potential oil spills on endangered species, he said, rather than "'the best scientific and commercial data available'".

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.

The proposed USA portion of the pipeline would run about 875 miles through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.

One of the plaintiffs, the Sierra Club, welcomed the judge's decision. The order came as a Canadian energy company prepared to assemble initial stages of the 1,200-mile long, cross-border project.

"There is a clear economic need for the project and we wonder whether TransCanada will choose to pursue the project with a stronger backstop from shippers and/or various levels of government", Kwan said in a note. "It's not over for us, we're just going to keep on going ahead".

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Keystone XL Pipeline Project Blocked