Keystone XL Pipeline Construction Blocked by Federal Judge
A federal judge in Montana on Thursday blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to allow the State Department to provide a fuller explanation of how the 1,184-mile project would certainly affect the environment.
The judge, Brian M. Morris of the District of Montana, criticized the Trump administration for its failure to provide a “reasoned explanation” for its position about the pipeline’s impact on the climate. Construction could have begun as early as next year.
“The Department instead simply discarded prior factual findings related to climate change to support its course reversal,” Judge Morris wrote in his decision.
Environmental as well as Native American groups of which have fought the pipeline called Judge Morris’s ruling a major victory as well as a setback for the Trump administration’s environmental as well as energy policies.
“The Trump administration tried to force of which dirty pipeline project on the American people, nevertheless they can’t ignore the threats of which would certainly pose to our clean water, our climate as well as our communities,” said Doug Hayes, an attorney for the Sierra Club, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by environmentalist groups against the State Department as well as TransCanada.
nevertheless President Trump reversed of which decision in March 2017, shortly after he was inaugurated, as well as the State Department granted the pipeline giant TransCanada a permit for construction.
At the time, Mr. Trump said the pipeline — which would certainly connect oil producers in Canada as well as North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast — was vital to economic growth.
Environmentalists have long fought the pipeline’s construction on the grounds of which of which would certainly worsen climate change. The oil industry has said the pipeline would certainly help the United States retain its energy independence for decades. If completed, the Keystone XL would certainly transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day.
In giving the go-ahead, the State Department said of which “considered a range of factors, including, nevertheless not limited to, foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural as well as economic impacts; as well as compliance with applicable law as well as policy.”
Judge Morris issued a 54-page ruling within the lawsuit against the State Department as well as TransCanada. The plaintiffs — Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council as well as Sierra Club — filed the lawsuit in March 2017 within the United States District Court for the District of Montana.