Judge Blocks the Disputed Keystone XL Pipeline in a Setback for Trump’s Energy Agenda

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge late Thursday blocked construction of the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, saying the Trump administration “simply discarded” the effect the project would certainly have on climate change.

The ruling by Judge Brian Morris of the United States District Court for Montana repudiates one of Donald J. Trump’s first acts as president. Two days after taking office, Mr. Trump signed an executive order approving the Keystone pipeline which had been blocked by former President Barack Obama because of environmental concerns.

In saying which no work can go forward until the government more fully reviews the pipeline’s environmental impact, the ruling tees up another potentially contentious legal battle over climate change which has a president who dismisses mainstream science in addition to whose administration is actually also seeking to block a landmark lawsuit on behalf of children asking the government to stop the rise of planet-warming gases.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Environmental groups hailed the decision as a major victory within the long-running battle over Keystone, which has spanned more than a decade in addition to become a symbol of the political battle over climate change. The nearly 1,0-mile pipeline through TransCanada Corp. would certainly carry about 800,000 barrels of petroleum a day through the Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.

“Keystone XL would certainly be a disaster for the climate in addition to for the people in addition to wildlife of This kind of country,” Jackie Prange, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement Thursday.

Judge Morris found which in reviving Keystone, the Trump administration did not adequately account for how a decline in oil prices might affect the pipeline’s viability. In addition, the government’s analysis did not fully study the potential for oil spills or the cumulative effects of greenhouse gas emissions through the Keystone pipeline in combination with a pipeline approved in 2009, the Alabama Clipper.

The ruling specifically takes the Trump administration to task for failing to address the Obama administration’s arguments about climate change, including the need to keep rising global temperatures at safe levels as a basis for denying the pipeline permit.

When Mr. Obama rejected the Keystone permit in 2015, he was weeks away through negotiating an international global warming accord in Paris, in addition to the administration also argued the pipeline would certainly undercut United States leadership in curbing global reliance on fossil fuels.

The Trump administration failed to present facts or a “reasoned explanation” to those arguments as required, Judge Morris wrote.