Federal judge issues setback to Trump administration plans on Keystone XL pipeline

Federal judge issues setback to Trump administration plans on Keystone XL pipeline

Federal judge issues setback to Trump administration plans on Keystone XL pipeline

But the Trump administration dismissed environmental objections as roadblocks and claimed that there were "numerous developments related to global action to address climate change" in the years since Obama-era rejection of the project.

Morris" ruling said the U.S. State Department's analysis "fell short of a "hard look'" at potential spills, likely impact on Native American cultural resources, cumulative emissions from Keystone XL and other oilsands pipelines and how a change in oil prices would affect the viability of the pipeline.

If built, it would transport around 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta, Canada, and the Bakken Shale Formation in Montana to facilities near Steele City, Neb.

Demonstrators against the Keystone XL pipeline march in Lincoln, Nebraska, in August 2017.

Four days after Trump was sworn into office, he invited TransCanada to resubmit its permit application.

TransCanada Corp.'s long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline project was blocked by a Montana federal judge pending further environmental review.

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"The department failed to make a fact-based explanation for its course reversal, "let alone a reasoned explanation.'An agency cannot simply disregard contrary or inconvenient factual determinations that it made in the past, any more than it can ignore inconvenient facts'" in the present", he wrote, quoting judicial precedents.

The same environmental analysis that the department carried out before denying the permit in 2015 was ignored when the department turned around a year ago and approved it, the judge argued. It has become the focal point of a decade-long dispute that pits Democrats, environmental groups and Native American tribes who warn of pollution and increased greenhouse gas emissions against business groups and Republicans who cheer the project's jobs and potential energy production.

Trump hit back against the court's decision on Friday, saying it was politically motivated and a "disgrace". "We remain committed to building this important energy infrastructure project".

Trump could also either file an appeal or direct the State Department to conduct a new study, said Zachary Rogers, analyst at Wood Mackenzie.

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. "Today, the courts showed the Trump administration and their corporate polluter friends that they can not bully rural landowners, farmers, environmentalists and Native communities". In the USA, the pipeline would stretch 875 miles through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, with the rest continuing into Canada. He signed an executive order supporting its construction in March of previous year.

"We sleep well tonight and tomorrow we continue to keep our guard up, working stronger as good relatives until Keystone XL vanishes, and it will", said Faith Spotted Eagle, member of the Yankton Sioux Nation and Brave Heart Society.

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